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ATLAS.

ti
User's Guide
User's Manual for ATLAS.ti 5.0, 2nd Edition -Berlin, June 2004.
Copyright © 2003-2004 by Thomas Muhr, ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development, Berlin.
All rights reserved.

Co-author: Dr. Susanne Friese, Quarc Consulting


Technical realization/editing: Dr. Thomas G. Ringmayr, hypertexxt.com
Editorial advisor: ResearchTalk Inc., Bohemia, Long Island, USA

Copying or duplicating this manual or any part thereof is a violation of the law. No part of this manual
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including,
but not limited to photocopying, without written permission from the author.

Disclaimer

1. LICENSE RIGHTS AND RESTRICTIONS. Scientific Software Development grants to you the non-exclusive, non-assignable right to
use the enclosed software in object code form (the "ATLAS.ti Code") on as many computer systems as are granted by the type of
license. You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the ATLAS.ti Code, except to the extent that the foregoing restriction
is expressly prohibited by applicable law. You may not rent or lease the ATLAS.ti Code, or otherwise transfer the ATLAS.ti Code and
accompanying written materials. All rights not expressly granted are reserved by Scientific Software Development.
2. NO WARRANTIES. The ATLAS.ti Code and accompanying written materials are provided "as is", without warranty of any kind. To the
maximum extent permitted by law, Scientific Software Development disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including but not
limited to implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The entire risk arising out of the use
or performance of the ATLAS.ti Code and any accompanying written materials remains with you.
3. NO LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law: in no event shall Scientific
Software Development, its suppliers, subsidiaries or representatives be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation,
damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of
or inability to use the ATLAS.ti Code, even if Scientific Software Development has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
4. MISCELLANEOUS. This Agreement is governed by international laws. If either party employs attorneys to enforce any rights arising
out of or relating to this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys fees, costs and expenses.

Trademarks
ATLAS.ti is a registered trademark of Scientific Software Development. Adobe Acrobat is a trademark of Adobe Inc.; IBM and OS/2 are
registered trademarks of IBM Corporation; Microsoft Windows, Word for Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation; SPSS is a
trademark of SPSS Inc.; Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Inc.. Other product names mentioned herein are used for identification
purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective companies.
Contents

Introduction......................................................................................................1
(Not a) Foreword...............................................................................................1
Acknowledgements............................................................................................2
About this Manual..............................................................................................3
Up-To-The-Minute Live Manual...........................................................4
Online Help............................................................................................4
How to Use This Manual.......................................................................4
Manual Conventions..............................................................................5

Basics...............................................................................................................6
A Little History..................................................................................................6
The VISE Principle............................................................................................6
Visualization..........................................................................................6
Integration..............................................................................................7
Serendipity.............................................................................................7
Exploration.............................................................................................7
Areas of Application..........................................................................................8
Design Objectives..............................................................................................9

What's New in ATLAS.ti 5.0..........................................................................10


User Interface Improvements...........................................................................10
Drag & Drop........................................................................................10
In-place Renaming...............................................................................10
Margin Area.........................................................................................10
Zooming...............................................................................................11
Rollup Mode........................................................................................11
Primary Documents.........................................................................................11
Rich Text..............................................................................................12
Unicode, DBCS, and plain text............................................................12
Editing Primary Documents.................................................................12
Embedded Objects...............................................................................13
Starting a New Project.....................................................................................13
Data Source Management................................................................................13
Copy Bundle........................................................................................13
Special Paths........................................................................................14
Quick Access to Folders......................................................................14

ii • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Memos..............................................................................................................14
Storage.................................................................................................14
Rich Text..............................................................................................15
New Memo Editor................................................................................15
Drag & Drop........................................................................................15
Using Memos for Bulk Code Generation............................................15
Search & Retrieval...........................................................................................15
Query Tool...........................................................................................15
Snapshot Codes....................................................................................16
Object Crawler.....................................................................................16
Network Editor.................................................................................................16
Additional Node Types........................................................................16
Co-occurring Codes.............................................................................16
Auto-Coloring......................................................................................16
Label Display.......................................................................................17
Object Managers..............................................................................................17
Object Explorer................................................................................................18
The Object Explorer as a Window Manager........................................18
Browsing Super Codes & Families .....................................................18
Display Qualified Link Names ...........................................................18
Symmetric Link Display .....................................................................18
Families............................................................................................................18
PD-Family Tables............................................................................................19
Teamwork Support...........................................................................................19
Shared Documents...............................................................................19
Change of Ownership .........................................................................20
Password Protection for HUs...............................................................20
SPSS™-Output................................................................................................20
XML Support...................................................................................................20
Miscellaneous..................................................................................................21
Filter Visualization ..............................................................................21
Word Cruncher ....................................................................................22
Hyperlinks............................................................................................22
Locales Support...................................................................................22
Windows Integration............................................................................23
What Has Not Changed...................................................................................23
If You Have Used ATLAS.ti Before...............................................................23
Can I Use my Old Hermeneutic Units and Primary Documents?.......23

Main Concepts...............................................................................................25
The Process......................................................................................................25
Data and Project Management.............................................................25
Textual-Level Work.............................................................................25
Conceptual Level Work.......................................................................26
General Steps when Working with ATLAS.ti.....................................26
The Hermeneutic Unit......................................................................................28

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • iii


Primary Documents.........................................................................................29
Media Types.........................................................................................29
Quotations........................................................................................................30
Types of Quotations.............................................................................31
Quotations as Layers............................................................................31
Codes................................................................................................................32
Objectives............................................................................................32
Super Codes.........................................................................................32
Memos..............................................................................................................32
Families............................................................................................................33
Network Views................................................................................................33
Nodes, Links & Relations....................................................................33
General Properties of Objects..........................................................................33
Comments............................................................................................33
Authorship............................................................................................34

Workbench Tools Overview.........................................................................35


The All-in-One Workbench Concept...............................................................35
The Tools.........................................................................................................35
Hermeneutic Unit Editor......................................................................35
Object Managers..................................................................................36
Hermeneutic Unit Browser..................................................................36
Text Editor...........................................................................................36
Object Explorer....................................................................................36
Family Manager...................................................................................36
Text Search Tool..................................................................................36
Query Tool...........................................................................................36
Word Cruncher.....................................................................................37
Object Crawler.....................................................................................37
Auto Coding Tool................................................................................37
Network View Manager.......................................................................37
Network Editor.....................................................................................37
Relation Editor.....................................................................................37
Hermeneutic Unit Merger....................................................................38
Coding Analyzer..................................................................................38
HTML Generator.................................................................................38
XML Generator....................................................................................38
XML Converter....................................................................................38
User Administration.............................................................................38

Main Workspace: The HU Editor..................................................................39


Overview..........................................................................................................39
Components of the HU Editor.........................................................................40
Title Bar...............................................................................................40
Main Menu...........................................................................................40
Toolbars ..............................................................................................40

iv • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Object Drop-Down Lists [3]................................................................40
Primary Document Pane [5].................................................................41
Line/Paragraph Number Area [6]........................................................41
Margin Area [8]...................................................................................41
Status Bar [7].......................................................................................42
The Pop-up Menus...............................................................................42
The Object Managers.......................................................................................44
Launching an Object Manager.............................................................44
The Object Manager Window..............................................................45
View Menu...........................................................................................47
Selecting Items in Object Managers....................................................47
Sorting and Filtering............................................................................47
Incremental List Search.......................................................................48
In-place Label Editing..........................................................................48
Editing Text.........................................................................................48
Primary Document Manager............................................................................49
The PD Manager Toolbar....................................................................50
PD Manager List Columns...................................................................50
Quotation Manager..........................................................................................50
Quotation Manager Toolbar.................................................................52
Quotation Manager List Columns........................................................52
Code Manager..................................................................................................53
Code Manager Toolbar........................................................................54
Code Manager List Columns...............................................................54
Memo Manager................................................................................................54
Memo Manager Toolbar......................................................................56
Memo Manager List Columns.............................................................56

Working with ATLAS.ti..................................................................................57


Starting and Ending an ATLAS.ti Session......................................................57
Starting ATLAS.ti ...............................................................................57
Logging In............................................................................................58
Ending your ATLAS.ti Session...........................................................59
Creating, Opening and Saving a Hermeneutic Unit.........................................59
Creating a Hermeneutic Unit...............................................................59
Opening a Hermeneutic Unit...............................................................59
Saving a Hermeneutic Unit..................................................................61
Backup Copies.....................................................................................62
Crash Recovery: Automatic Backup....................................................63
Assigning Primary Documents.......................................................................63
One Data Source – Many PDs.............................................................64
Assigning Documents via the File Dialog...........................................65
Assigning Documents using Drag & Drop..........................................66
Assign Memos as Primary Documents................................................67
Using a PD-Family Table to Assign Documents.................................67
Rearranging PDs..................................................................................67

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • v


Renumbering all Primary Documents..................................................68

Primary Documents.......................................................................................69
Preparing Documents ......................................................................................69
Supported Formats...............................................................................69
Size Restrictions...................................................................................70
Preparing Textual Documents..............................................................70
Preparing Graphical Documents..........................................................72
Preparing Multimedia Documents.......................................................72
Loading and Navigating Primary Documents..................................................74
Loading Primary Documents...............................................................74
Navigating within Primary Documents...............................................75
Disconnecting Primary Documents.....................................................76
Editing Primary Documents.............................................................................76
Objectives............................................................................................76
Entering and Leaving Edit Mode.........................................................78
Saving Edited Primary Documents......................................................79
Embedded Objects...............................................................................80
Inside Editing Primary Documents......................................................83
A Sample PD Editing Session..............................................................88
Converting Documents to New Paragraph Model...........................................89
Paragraphs in ATLAS.ti 4....................................................................89
Getting Rid of Hard Returns................................................................90
Optimizing Load Time for Converted Documents..............................90
How ATLAS.ti Handles Documents...............................................................91
Referencing - a Common Procedure....................................................91
The ATLAS.ti Reference Model..........................................................92
Consequences of Accessing PDs via References.................................93
Reference Types: Many Paths, One Destination.................................94

The Textual Level - Basic Functions.........................................................105


Selecting Document Segments......................................................................105
Selecting Text Segments....................................................................105
Selecting Graphical Segments...........................................................106
Navigating Multimedia and Selecting Segments ..............................107
Creating Quotations.......................................................................................110
Creating a free Quotation...................................................................110
Creating Quotations Using The Context Menu ................................110
Creating Quotations Using Drag & Drop..........................................111
Activating Quotations....................................................................................111
Modifying Quotations....................................................................................113
Changing The Boundaries Of A Quotation.......................................113
Deleting Quotations.......................................................................................113
Deleting Quotation(s) in the Quotation Manager..............................114
Coding Techniques........................................................................................114
General Coding Procedure.................................................................114

vi • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


How Codes are Displayed..................................................................115
Open Coding......................................................................................116
In-Vivo Coding..................................................................................117
Code-by-List......................................................................................118
Code-by-List Inverse.........................................................................119
Quick Coding.....................................................................................119
Writing Code Comments...................................................................119
More Coding-Related Functions....................................................................120
Free Codes.........................................................................................120
Importing Codes.................................................................................121
Renaming and Deleting a Code.........................................................121
Deleting Codes...................................................................................122
Unlinking Codes................................................................................123
Merging Codes...................................................................................124
Retrieving Coded Quotations.............................................................125
Working with Memos....................................................................................126
Difference between Memos and Codes.............................................127
How Memos and Comments Differ...................................................127
Memo Content...................................................................................127
The Memo Editor...............................................................................127
“Memoing” – Attaching Memos to Data Segments..........................128
Memo Types .....................................................................................130
Using Memos as PDs.........................................................................131
Miscellaneaous Memo Goodies.........................................................132
Margin Drag & Drop.....................................................................................133
Move Linked Objects.........................................................................133
Replace Linked Objects.....................................................................134
Copy Linked Objects.........................................................................134
Specialties – Merging Quotations......................................................135
Sorting and Filtering......................................................................................135
Sorting................................................................................................136
Filtering..............................................................................................137

Special Tools...............................................................................................142
Text Search....................................................................................................142
The Text Search Tool.........................................................................142
Standard Search Mode.......................................................................143
Category Search.................................................................................144
GREP Search.....................................................................................147
The Auto-Coding Tool...................................................................................149
Concepts.............................................................................................149
How to Auto-Code.............................................................................151
The Word Cruncher.......................................................................................153
Creating a Word Frequency Report...................................................153
The Object Crawler........................................................................................156
How To Use the Crawler...................................................................156

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • vii


The Query Tool..............................................................................................158
The Query Tool Window...................................................................159
Operands............................................................................................160
Operators............................................................................................160
The Query Language..........................................................................166
Output of Query Results....................................................................171
More Query Examples ......................................................................172
Super Codes.......................................................................................175
Snapshot Codes..................................................................................177
Scope of Query..................................................................................177
Additional QueryTool Functions.......................................................178
The Object Explorer ......................................................................................181
Using the Object Explorer.................................................................181
Code Trees & Forests.........................................................................185
Redundant Coding Analyzer..........................................................................186
The Coding Analyzer Screen.............................................................186

Family Life....................................................................................................189
Overview........................................................................................................189
Families as Variables.........................................................................189
Super Families...................................................................................190
Using Families when Merging Hermeneutic Units...........................190
Common Procedures......................................................................................190
The Family Manager..........................................................................190
Creating Families...............................................................................192
Adding and Removing Members ......................................................192
Writing a Comment for a Family.......................................................193
Assigning Families to Objects...........................................................193
Using Families as Filters....................................................................194
Removing Families............................................................................195
Primary Document Families..........................................................................195
Primary Document Families as Variables..........................................195
PD-Family Table................................................................................195
Primary Document Families in SPSS Jobs........................................200
Code Families................................................................................................200
Code Families in Queries...................................................................201
Code Families in SPSS Jobs..............................................................201
Creating Code Families from Network Views...................................201
Memo Families..............................................................................................201
Super Families...............................................................................................201
Using Super Families.........................................................................202
To create a Super Family...................................................................203
Possible Family Combinations..........................................................204
Combining Families using Boolean Operators..................................205
Create a Snapshot...............................................................................208

viii • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The Conceptual Level: Networks ..............................................................209
Nodes and Links............................................................................................209
Directed Links....................................................................................210
Strong and Weak Links......................................................................210
Node Types........................................................................................210
Relations........................................................................................................210
Link vs. Relation................................................................................211
The Role of Relations........................................................................212

The Network Editor et. al............................................................................213


Network vs. Network View...........................................................................214
Network View Characteristics...........................................................214
Node Types....................................................................................................215
Codes as Nodes..................................................................................215
Memos as Nodes................................................................................215
Primary Documents as Nodes............................................................216
Quotations as Nodes..........................................................................216
Families as Nodes..............................................................................216
Network Views as Nodes...................................................................216
Basic Network View Procedures...................................................................216
Creating Network Views....................................................................216
Launch a Network View....................................................................217
Selecting Nodes and Links.................................................................218
Selecting a Link.................................................................................220
Deselecting Nodes and Links.............................................................221
Moving Nodes....................................................................................221
Linking Nodes....................................................................................222
Cutting Links.....................................................................................224
Modifying Links................................................................................224
Importing Nodes................................................................................224
Removing Nodes from Network View..............................................227
Node and Link Actions......................................................................227
Layout Procedures.........................................................................................228
Semantic Layout................................................................................228
Topological Layout............................................................................229
Creating Output..............................................................................................231
Printing Networks..............................................................................231
Network Views for other Applications..............................................231
Link Management..........................................................................................232
The Code- Link Manager...................................................................232
The Hyper-Link Manager..................................................................233
The Relation Editor........................................................................................233
What Can be Edited?.........................................................................234
Editing Relations................................................................................235
Cosmetics - Network Display Properties.......................................................237
Colors.................................................................................................237

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • ix


Fonts...................................................................................................238
Node and Link Appearance...............................................................238
Miscellaneous Network Procedures ..............................................................239
Theory Transfer.................................................................................240
Splitting Codes...................................................................................243
Network Views as Graphical Tables of Contents..............................247

Hypertext......................................................................................................249
Representing the “Rhetoric of Text”..............................................................250
Benefits of Hypertext.....................................................................................250
What Codes Cannot Do.....................................................................250
Graphical Hyperlink Maps.................................................................251
General Procedures............................................................................252
Hyperlinks in the Margin Area..........................................................253
Creating Hyperlinks.......................................................................................253
Creating Hyperlinks using the List Method.......................................253
Creating Hyperlinks in Context.........................................................254
Creating Hyperlinks in the Quotation Manager.................................255
Creating Hyperlinks in Margin Area.................................................255
Modifying Hyperlinks........................................................................255
Building Text Webs with the Network Editor...................................255
Defining New Hyperlink Relations...................................................256
Traversing Hyperlinks...................................................................................257
The "In-Place" Method......................................................................257
The Network Editor Method..............................................................258
Editing Hyperlink Comments............................................................258

Collaboration...............................................................................................260
Objectives......................................................................................................260
Access Rights.................................................................................................260
Co-Authors.....................................................................................................261
User Management..........................................................................................262
Recommendations for Instructional Use............................................262
The User Database.............................................................................262
The User Administration Window.....................................................263
Maintaining the User Database..........................................................264
Add a New User.................................................................................264
Remove a User...................................................................................265
Change Access Rights........................................................................265
Change the Password.........................................................................265
Change Name.....................................................................................265
Maintaining the User Database..........................................................265
Automatic Logon...............................................................................266
Relaxed User Management................................................................266

Project Management...................................................................................267

x • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Objectives .....................................................................................................267
Project Planning and Setup ...........................................................................268
Basics.................................................................................................269
Scenario 1: All in One........................................................................272
Scenario 2: Single Document Path, Different HU Path.....................273
Scenario 3: Multiple Document Paths...............................................275
Scenario 4: All Inclusive ...................................................................277
Project Maintenance.......................................................................................279
Copy Bundle - Migrate and Backup Projects....................................279
Extending Existing Projects...............................................................286
Optimizing Projects for ATLAS.ti 5.0...............................................286
Surviving System Modifications........................................................286
Merging Hermeneutic Units..........................................................................286
Examples of Application....................................................................287
Concepts.............................................................................................287
How to Merge Hermeneutic Units.....................................................290
Creating and Interpreting Merge Reports..........................................293

Export & Import...........................................................................................296


SPSS Export...................................................................................................296
Cases & Variables..............................................................................296
Scaled vs. Dichotomous Codes..........................................................297
How SPSS Export Handles Families.................................................299
Missing Values...................................................................................299
Creating SPSS Output........................................................................300
SPSS Preferences...............................................................................300
Export & Import using XML.........................................................................301
Limitations.........................................................................................301
Exporting and Importing Codes in XML ..........................................301
Exporting and Importing Memos in XML ........................................302
Exporting the Hermeneutic Unit in XML .........................................303
HTML Export................................................................................................304
Creating a HTML Document.............................................................304
Customizing HTML Output...............................................................305
Special Considerations.......................................................................305
Export and Import of Documents & Families................................................306

Generating Output.......................................................................................307
Overview........................................................................................................307
General Procedure..........................................................................................308
Output Destinations...........................................................................308
Report Layout....................................................................................308
Creating Output for the Main Objects...........................................................309
The (Primary) Documents Output Submenu.....................................310
The Quotations Output Submenu.......................................................311
The Codes Output Submenu..............................................................312

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • xi


The Memos Output Submenu............................................................315
Family Output....................................................................................315
Creating Reports with the XML Converter...................................................315
Introduction........................................................................................315
Requirements ....................................................................................316
How to Use the XML Converter........................................................317
Creating and Modifying Stylesheets..................................................319
Conventions.......................................................................................319
Custom Applications with Stylesheets...............................................320

Resources....................................................................................................324
Frequently Asked Questions..........................................................................324
The ATLAS.ti Mailing List...........................................................................324
The ATLAS.ti Website..................................................................................324
Getting Support..............................................................................................325

Troubleshooting..........................................................................................326
Of Bugs & Nuisances.....................................................................................326
Known Issues.................................................................................................327
Screen Refresh...................................................................................327
No Buttons in Main Toolbar..............................................................327
Frequently Asked Questions..........................................................................327
Primary Document Cannot be Loaded...............................................327
Embedded Objects Cannot be Activated...........................................329
Cannot Enter Edit Mode for Primary Documents..............................329
Internal Error Message...................................................................................330
Reporting Bugs..............................................................................................330
Sending an Error Report....................................................................330
Service Packs & Patches................................................................................331
Downloading Service Packs..............................................................331
Using the Service Pack Manager.......................................................332

Reference.....................................................................................................334
The General Preferences Dialog....................................................................334
To set General Preferences................................................................334
Section: General.................................................................................334
Section: HU-Editor............................................................................336
Section: Margin..................................................................................337
Section: Fonts.....................................................................................338
Section: Storage.................................................................................339
Section: Paths.....................................................................................340
Section: Text-Editors.........................................................................341
Section: PD Printing..........................................................................342
Section: Memos.................................................................................343
The HU Editor's Menus.................................................................................344
The File Menu....................................................................................344

xii • Contents A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The Edit Menu...................................................................................346
The Documents Menu........................................................................347
The Quotations Menu........................................................................351
The Codes Menu................................................................................353
The Memos Menu..............................................................................357
The Networks Menu..........................................................................359
The Views Menu................................................................................360
The Tools Menu.................................................................................362
The Extras Menu................................................................................364
The Windows Menu...........................................................................366
The Help Menu..................................................................................366
The Margin Area Context Menus......................................................367
The Wallpaper Menu.........................................................................369
The HU Editor’s Toolbars.............................................................................370
The Main Toolbar..............................................................................370
The Edit Toolbar................................................................................371
The Primary Document Toolbar........................................................371
The Family Manager’s Menus and Toolbar...................................................372
The Families Menu............................................................................372
The Miscellaneous Menu...................................................................374
The Family Manager Toolbar............................................................374
The Network Editor's Menus and Toolbar.....................................................374
The Network Menu............................................................................375
Nodes Menu.......................................................................................376
Links Menu........................................................................................378
Layout Menu......................................................................................378
Display Menu.....................................................................................381
Specials Menu....................................................................................384
Network Editor Preferences...........................................................................384
HTML Preferences.........................................................................................388

Appendix......................................................................................................394
Selecting Objects...........................................................................................394
Single Selection Only........................................................................394
Multiple Selection..............................................................................394
Character Encoding for Textual Documents..................................................395
XML – an Introduction..................................................................................397
XML vs. HTML: A Little Tech Talk................................................397

Alphabetical Index.......................................................................................401

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Contents • xiii


Introduction

ATLAS.ti is a powerful workbench for the qualitative analysis of large


bodies of textual, graphical, audio, and video data. It offers a variety of
tools for accomplishing the tasks associated with any systematic
approach to unstructured data, e.g., data that cannot be meaningfully
analyzed by formal, statistical approaches. In the course of such a
qualitative analysis, ATLAS.ti helps you to explore the complex
phenomena hidden in your data. For coping with the inherent
complexity of the tasks and the data, ATLAS.ti offers a powerful and
intuitive environment that keeps you focused on the analyzed
materials. It offers tools to manage, extract, compare, explore, and
reassemble meaningful pieces from large amounts of data in creative,
flexible, yet systematic ways.

(Not a) Foreword
When I asked Anselm Strauss back in 1996 to contribute a foreword to
the manual of the first version of ATLAS.ti, I was extremely happy he
agreed. As I have no idea how his attitude and his decision would be
today, I decided not to include the original foreword, except for the
following quotation which, I promise, will remain true for some time
to come: “… the program author makes no claims whatever to having
produced a program that will perform miracles for your research –
you still have to have the ideas and the gifts to do exceptional
research.”
So then, after all these years of developing the current release, still no
miracles? Even with the help of a team of developers, business
experts, designers, technical writers, and patient users? No miracles?
True. But on the other hand, something has grown that we can be
proud of. A versatile tool, still not perfect, but state-of-the-art, and
still close to the needs of the people we have been serving with our
development for more than a decade.
Thomas Muhr, Scientific Software Development, Berlin, 2004

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 1


Acknowledgements
It is near impossible to draw up a full list of people who have contributed
to the current state of the software. However, I would like to thank as
many as I can.
My very first thanks goes to Renata Tesch (in memoriam) for her
encouraging support to make ATLAS.ti a generally available and
professional tool in the early days of this undertaking. She died in 1994
at her home in Desert Hot Springs.
And without having initiated project ATLAS back in 1989, ATLAS.ti
would not exist. Thanks to Heiner Legewie of Technical University
Berlin!
My special thanks go to our "beta-testers" who intensively worked with
the new system's prototype and gave valuable feedback for more than a
year.
Thanks to Carsten, who has been developing for Scientific Software
since 1997. He has done a tremendous job.
Without the help of the following people, this manual would not be as it
is now:
Susanne Friese of QUARC - Qualitative Research & Consulting for
rewriting and completing the original manual,
Thomas Ringmayr of eBility for a first pass language and style revision.
Thanks to Ray Maietta and the ResearchTalk Team, and to Alison,
Belisa, Derrick, Pat and Ron, for wise comment and thoughtful
editorial work on this manual during the last weeks before release.
For the wonderful images in sample project Digital Images, thanks to
Sigrid Reiss.
I am also indebted to the members of the ATLAS.ti e-mail discussion
list, which started during project ATLAS back in 1992 and has proven to
be a valuable resource both for the developers and the users of the
program. Several bugs were found and reported by members of the list.
The list is still alive and well. In 2002 we celebrated the 10-year
anniversary of our mailing list. With close to 1000 members (March
2004) it resembles a small “university,” with all academic levels and a
wide variety of professionals, including corporate users, represented.
You are invited to join! Refer to our website at www.atlasti.com for
more information.
Last, but not least, a very special thanks to my wife, Christine. Her
patience is simply incredible.

2 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


About this Manual
This manual describes the functions and concepts of ATLAS.ti.
Methodological approaches to qualitative data analysis or text
interpretation will not be featured.
It is not required that you read the manual sequentially from the first to
the last page. You may skip sections that describe concepts you are
already familiar with, you may jump directly to sections that describe
functions you are interested in, or you may simply use it as a reference
guide to look up information on certain key words.
For users with no prior knowledge of ATLAS.ti, we do, however,
recommend that you especially read through the first part of the manual
in order to become familiar with the concepts used by ATLAS.ti and to
gain an overview of the available functions. These are the chapters:
“Main Concepts” on page 25, “Workbench Tools Overview” on page 35
and “Main Workspace: The HU Editor” on page 39.
In order to set up a project, it is recommended that you read the chapters
on “Project Management” on page 267 and “Preparing Documents” on
page 69. For all basic-level work like creating quotations, coding, and
writing memos, consult the chapters under the main heading: “The
Textual Level - Basic Functions” on page 105. Advanced functions are
described under: “The Conceptual Level: Networks” on page 209.
The sequence of the chapters follows the steps that are necessary to start
and work on an ATLAS.ti project. First, the main concepts that
ATLAS.ti utilizes are explained; then an overview of all available tools
is provided. These introductory and more theoretically-oriented parts are
followed by more practically-oriented chapters providing step-by-step
instructions. You will learn how to manage your data, how to set up and
start a project, and how to prepare and edit documents.
After a project is set up, the basic functions like coding, text search, auto-
coding, writing memos, etc. become relevant. Conceptual-level functions
like the Network Editor build on the textual-level work (at least in most
cases) and are therefore described last.
In section “Reference” on page 334, you will find a short description of
all menu items. Chapter “Resources” on page 324 offers some useful
advice on how to get support and where to find further information on
the software.

Up-To-The-Minute Live Manual


At the time of print or manufacturing a CD, a manual is usually not
100% complete and may contain descriptions that need to be
corrected. Furthermore, with service packs and patches come modified
or added functionality that needs description.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 3


For this purpose, a hot-link to an up-to-date version of this manual or
manual addendums is available from our web site at:
http://www.atlasti.com/A5/livemanual.html.

Online Help
After the installation of ATLAS.ti the online help accessible via the F1
key offers a browsable, searchable and somehow modified version of
this document. All in all, unless you prefer to read a manual in a
sequential manner, the online help may offer optimal support during a
work session.

How to Use This Manual


This manual is intended for:
• Those who have no prior knowledge of ATLAS.ti, and for
• Those who have worked with ATLAS.ti 4.2.
There is no need for users with prior knowledge to read through the
entire manual. However, it is highly recommended that they read the
following chapters and sections:
• “What's New in ATLAS.ti 5.0” on page 10
• “Object Managers” on page 36
• “Project Management” on page 267
• “Preparing Documents” on page 69
• “Editing Primary Documents” on page 76
Throughout the manual, you will find a number of notes that especially
address the ATLAS.ti 4.x user. In the above sections you will find
information that facilitates the transfer from version 4 to version 5.
Please do not expect any introductory or advanced information on
methodological aspects of qualitative research, other than in cursory
statements.
Some general familiarity with concepts and procedures (i.e., windows,
mouse) relating to the Windows operating system on your computer is
assumed.

Manual Conventions
The following conventions are used throughout the manual:

Convention Indicates

4 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Tips & Tricks to make life easier are
designated by an enlightening symbol in the
left margin.

Text passages marked with this icon, should be


given special attention.

Find this icon where Drag & Drop options are


applicable.

CODES/CODING/AUTO CODING Menu items embedded in the text body. The


slashes mark different "submenu" levels. The
item after the last slash is the command.
When you see this icon, a setup option is
explained. Individual setups can be defined
under EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES.
If you need to press a combination of keys, a
CTRL+ALT plus sign is used between the keys that need to
be held down at the same time.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 5


Basics

A Little History
ATLAS the project: A first prototype of this program was developed in the context of
Archive for Technology, an interdisciplinary research project entitled ATLAS (1989-
Life World, and Everyday 1992)) at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. The
Language project entailed close interactions between computer scientists,
psychologists, linguists, and future users. From 1993 on, the
software was further developed into a commercially available
version. In 1997 ATLAS.ti for Windows 4.1 was released.
Being the versatile product that it is, with a growing network of
business partners world-wide, and especially with a base of extremely
loyal users all over the globe, ATLAS.ti has since become one of the
most prominent tools for qualitative data analysis.
Before the advent of ATLAS.ti 5 in 2004, we provided a number of
service packs that already greatly extended the functionality of the
software. Among the major changes was the introduction of fine-
grained audio and video analysis in 1998. This added functionality, in
itself, would have justified a major version upgrade. Instead, all users
received this significant extra benefit for free.

The VISE Principle


The main principles of the ATLAS.ti philosophy are best encapsulated
by the acronym VISE, which stands for Visualization, Integration,
Serendipity, and Exploration.

Visualization
The visualization component of the program means directly supports
the way human beings (this includes researchers!) think, plan, and
approach solutions in creative, yet systematic ways.
Tools are offered to visualize complex properties and relations
between the objects accumulated during the process of eliciting
meaning and structure from the analyzed data.

6 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The object-oriented design of ATLAS.ti seeks to keep the necessary
operations close to the data to which they are applied. The visual
approach of the interface keeps you focused on the data, and quite
often the functions you need are just a few mouse clicks away.

Integration
Another fundamental design aspect of the software is to integrate all
pieces that comprise a project, in order not to lose sight of the whole
when going into detail.
Therefore, all relevant entities are stored in a container, the so-called
"Hermeneutic Unit (HU).” Like the spider in its web, the HU keeps all
data within reach. Loading a project with hundreds of files is merely a
matter of opening a single HU.
Version 5 further strengthens the idea of integration as it allows the
inclusion of a larger variety of data types into the analysis. Rich Text
documents including Excel™, PowerPoint™, and other “embedded
objects” can now be analyzed as easy as plain text was in the earlier
versions of ATLAS.ti.

Serendipity
Webster: Webster’s Dictionary defines the word "serendipity" as "a seeming
gift for making fortunate discoveries accidentally". Other
Main Entry:
translations are: fortunate accidents, lucky discoveries. In the
ser·en·dip·i·ty
context of information systems, one should add: To find something
Pronunciation: -'di-
p&-tE without having searched for it.
Function: noun The term "serendipity" can be equated with an intuitive approach to
Etymology: from its data. A typical operation relying on the serendipity effect is
possession by the "browsing". This information-seeking method is a genuine human
heroes of the Persian activity: When you spend a day in the local library (or on the
fairy tale The Three World Wide Web), you often start with searching for particular
Princes of Serendip books (or key words). But after a short while, you typically find
: the faculty or yourself increasingly engaged in browsing through books that were
phenomenon of finding not exactly what you originally had in mind.
valuable or agreeable
Examples of tools and procedures ATLAS.ti offers for exploiting
things not sought for
the concept of serendipity are the Object Managers, the Object
Explorer, the interactive margin area, full text search, and the
hypertext functionality.

Exploration
Frankly, we added this term because needed an "e" to make for a nicer
acronym! -)

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 7


Seriously, though: exploration is closely related to the above
principles. Through an exploratory, yet systematic approach to your
data (as opposed to a mere "bureaucratic" handling), it is assumed that
especially constructive activities like theory building will be of great
benefit. The entire program’s concept, including the process of getting
acquainted with its particular idiosyncrasies, is particularly conducive
to an exploratory, discovery-oriented approach.

Areas of Application
ATLAS.ti serves as a powerful utility for qualitative analysis,
particularly of larger bodies of textual, graphical, audio, and video
data. The content or subject matter of these materials is in no way
limited to any one particular field of scientific or scholarly
investigation.
Its emphasis is on qualitative, rather than quantitative, analysis, i.e.,
determining the elements that comprise the primary data material and
interpreting their meaning. A related term would be “knowledge
management,” which emphasizes the transformation of data into useful
knowledge.
ATLAS.ti can be of great help in any field where this kind of "soft
data" analysis is carried out. While ATLAS.ti was originally designed
with the social scientist in mind, it has been put to use in areas that we
had not anticipated. These areas include psychology, literature,
medicine, software engineering, quality control, criminology,
administration, text linguistics, stylistics, knowledge elicitation,
history, geography, theology, and law.
Emerging daily are numerous new fields that can take full advantage
of the program’s facilities for working with graphical, audio, and video
data. The following are a few examples:
• Medicine: Analysis of X-ray images, computer-tomograms,
microscope samples
• Anthropology: Micro-gestures, mimics
• Architecture: Annotated floor plans
• Graphology: Micro comments to handwriting features.
• Criminology: Analysis of letters, finger prints, photographs,
surveillance data
• Geography
• Art / Art History: Detailed interpretative descriptions of paintings
or educational explanations of style
• Tourism

8 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


• Industrial Quality Assurance: Analyzing video taped user-system
interaction

Design Objectives
ATLAS.ti offers support to The fundamental design objective in creating ATLAS.ti was to
the researcher - without develop a tool that effectively supports the human interpreter,
taking control of the particularly in handling relatively large amounts of research
intellectual process. material, notes, and associated theories. Although ATLAS.ti
facilitates many of the activities involved in qualitative data
analysis and interpretation (particularly selecting,
indexing/coding, and annotating), its purpose is not to automate
these processes. Automatic interpretation of text cannot succeed
in grasping the complexity, lack of explicitness, and
“contextuality” of everyday or scientific knowledge. In fact,
ATLAS.ti was designed to be more than a single tool: think of it
as a professional workbench that provides a broad selection of
effective tools for a variety of problems and tasks.
Support of Teamwork ATLAS.ti facilitates co-authoring, i.e., it allows two or more
researchers or work groups to work on the same project. It provides
powerful functions that allow for the transfer and conversion of
research data while keeping the respective sources of ideas
identifiable at all times.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 9


What's New in ATLAS.ti 5.0

In this chapter, new and modified features of ATLAS.ti 5 are


introduced. In addition, you learn what has not changed. This chapter
is especially intended for those who have prior experience with version
4.2 of the software. If you are new to ATLAS.ti altogether, skip this
section for now and continue with “Main Concepts” on page 25.

User Interface Improvements


When you start ATLAS.ti 5 for the first time, the interface should look
quite familiar. Changes become apparent when you start opening the
various menus and windows.
ATLAS.ti has become even more interactive than it already had been.
All of the tools in ATLAS.ti 5.0 have improved functionality that
includes tools in the main editor and the former extra lists, which are
now called "Object Managers."
To minimize screen clutter, a roll-up mode is available in many
windows, and there is a zoom option for text and graphics.

Drag & Drop


Drag & Drop is now used in many more situations that benefit from
this “direct manipulation” technique. Objects can be copied and moved
in the margin area to accomplish tasks like coding, code revision,
creating codes, memos, hyperlinks, and merging quotations. For more
information see „Margin Drag & Drop“ on page 133.

In-place Renaming
In-place renaming of labels, initiated by a click on a selected item, is
available in the HU Editor’s margin area, the object managers, and
other browsers like the Object Explorer.

Margin Area
Graphic documents can now also make full use of the margin area to
display and edit quotation brackets and attached codes, hyperlinks, and
memos.

10 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The margin area is now drag & drop capable and it allows in-place
label editing.

Figure 1 Graphic PD with margin area

Zooming
Text and graphics documents can be zoomed in or out by holding
down the CTRL-key while using the mouse wheel – if available.
Hold down
CTRL+SHIFT when In the primary document area the zoom button , the last button
clicking to reset the on the vertical toolbar, can also be used. Hold down the CTRL-key
size to 100%. to zoom out. To return to the original size, hold down the CTRL
and the SHIFT key while clicking the button.

Rollup Mode
To save screen space, windows can be ‘rolled-up’ to only display
the title bar that displays the caption of the window. Move to
another window to “roll-up” the window currently open and
move the mouse over the collapsed window to display it again.
To activate roll-up, click the button in the upper left corner of a
window and choose ROLLUP MODE from the window’s system
menu.
Rollup Mode is not available for every window.

Primary Documents
A central focus of our ATLAS.ti 5 development and one of our
proudest accomplishments has been the handling, accessing, and
editing of primary documents. Improvements center around the kind of

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 11


"data sources" accepted as primary documents, techniques for
associating primary documents with a project in a flexible and robust
manner, and editing the contents of primary documents without
affecting existing coding.

Rich Text
Textual documents may now contain arbitrary formatting, live web
links, and embedded objects.

Figure 2 An Excel table embedded in a rich text primary document

Unicode, DBCS, and plain text


ATLAS.ti 5 supports additional plain text formats like Unicode and
DBCS (Double Byte Character Sets) in all text editors and the primary
document pane. Therefore, East Asian languages are supported.
However, currently you cannot create Unicode labels for codes,
memos, network nodes, etc. It is also not possible to use Unicode in
text searches.

Editing Primary Documents


Textual documents (*.txt and *.rtf documents) assigned to an HU as
primary documents can be edited at any time in the analysis process,
no matter whether a document has already been coded or not.
Modifications are broadcast to all other users of this document; the
PDs will be synchronized and all coding is correctly realigned. For
more information, see “Editing Primary Documents” on page 76.

12 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Embedded Objects
Objects like Excel tables, images, PowerPoint slides, formulas, and
audio or video files can be embedded in primary documents,
comments, and memos. Most objects can be activated and edited
within ATLAS.ti without the need for explicitly opening the
application that was used to create them.
The fragment shows an embedded formula in active mode with a
floating formula editing toolbar.

Starting a New Project


There is a significant change in the way a new Hermeneutic Unit is
created.
Just as you would start a new Word text, you simply create a new HU.
At this point the caption of the HU editor displays the default title
“New Hermeneutic Unit.” The caption changes when you save the HU
the first time.
No more dual name The option to provide a separate project name in addition to a file
and file name. name has been dropped because today’s Windows systems offer
sufficient expressiveness for path and file names.
Consequently, the option to rename HUs has been dropped.

Data Source Management


The most frequently asked question by ATLAS.ti users in the past was
related to having “lost” primary documents, often expressed in ways
like: “Help! Where are my primary documents?” This question was
based on an erroneous understanding of how ATLAS.ti accesses
primary documents. For a better understanding of this important
feature this manual includes a chapter “Project Management” on page
267. A number of project scenarios are presented to help in setting up
new projects.
DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT under the Documents menu offers a variety
of powerful tools to support users and administrators in locating
document-related problems.

Copy Bundle
The Copy Bundle function has been completely revised.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 13


In ATLAS.ti 5, one compressed file containing all associated files
(primary document data sources, etc.) is created by the Copy Bundle
function. This file can be moved to another computer and unpacked to
any location. If a specific directory is required and it does not exist, it
is automatically created by the system. Potential conflicts are clearly
indicated.
The Copy Bundle function can be conveniently used to backup
projects and to move projects between computers. For more
information see “Copy Bundle - Migrate and Backup Projects” on
page 279.
There is no longer a need to re-create the original directory structures
or to deal with batch files when moving an ATLAS.ti project.

Special Paths
In order to facilitate data management and the migration of projects
between different computers, the use of special paths was further
developed in ATLAS.ti 5. Special paths are abstract paths, which are
independent of the concrete path names that exist on different
computers. ATLAS.ti 5 offers two special paths: the TBPATH and the
HUPATH.
Depending on the project setup, the use of either one of the special
paths or the use of absolute paths is recommended (see the chapter on
“Project Management” on page 267).

Quick Access to Folders


Using the EXTRAS/EXPLORER menu item, you can conveniently access
folders relevant for your work using Windows Explorer. These include
the sample projects folder; the currently opened HU folder; your
default “textbank” folder; the user system folder where files like the
search library, the relation types, or the stop list used by the Word
Cruncher are stored; the service pack folder; or Windows™’ "My
Documents” folder.

Memos

Storage
Memos now reside in the same “container” file as the HU itself and
are loaded when needed. This one-file-for-all “structured storage”
technology that is also used by MS Office™, makes loading safe and
fast, and the user is not likely to experience significant delays.
Outsourcing memos into separate files is no longer necessary.

14 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Rich Text
Memos and comments may also be formatted as Rich Text.

New Memo Editor


Memos have undergone a facelift and now assume a more prominent
role compared to previous ATLAS.ti versions.
A special text editor with a dedicated memo name and type field opens
when you create or display a memo.

Drag & Drop


Memos can be attached to selected data segments or existing
quotations via drag & drop, just like codes. Dragging a memo into the
PD Manager assigns it as a Primary Document.
Additionally, document text can be dragged into an existing memo or
into the list pane of the Memo Manager to create a new memo.

Using Memos for Bulk Code Generation


You may bulk create a large number of codes using a memo
containing a code name per line. See “Using Memos to Create a Code
List” on page 132.

Search & Retrieval


The Query Tool has been improved and a new tool, the Object
Crawler, allows you to search through all objects contained in an HU.

Query Tool
Some subtle improvements have been made:
• When creating a super code or when new codes are added, the
corresponding lists displayed in the Query Tool are updated
immediately.
• The button ‘Prefix-Notation’ has been removed.
• The code list displays the “current” codes, e.g., the ones matching
requirements consistent with the current code filter.
• In addition to primary document families, search results can now
also be restricted to Super Families.
• When right-clicking on a code in the Query Tool, a list of co-
occurring codes can be displayed.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 15


• Report offers more options.

Snapshot Codes
A Super Code can be "frozen in time" by creating a snapshot code. A
snapshot code is a standard code “hard-wired” with the quotations of a
Super Code. Being a standard code, it can be displayed in the margin
area and be used for further coding, but it does not have the dynamic
behavior of a Super Code; quotations connected to it will not
automatically update.

Object Crawler
The Object Crawler collects all objects within an HU, whose
textual attributes (name, author, date, comments, and content)
contain a specified pattern. For details see “The Object Crawler”
on page 156.

Network Editor

Additional Node Types


In ATLAS.ti 5, you can import all object types as nodes. In addition to
primary documents, quotations, codes, and memos, ATLAS.ti 5 allows
importing document, code and memo families and network views into
other network views.

Co-occurring Codes
Codes that co-occur with the codes you have selected in the Network
Editor can now be imported. Co-occurring codes are those that are
used for the same, overlapping or neighbored data segments.

Auto-Coloring
The “auto-color” mode colors nodes along two dimensions according
to their groundedness (i.e., the number of quotations to which they are
linked) and their density (i.e., the number of other codes connected).
Groundedness increases the red component, while density increases
the blue component of the node color.
Auto-color is restricted to nodes representing codes.

16 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Label Display
Relation types can now be displayed alongside the line connecting two
objects (DISPLAY/LINK DISPLAY/ROTATED LABELS).

Figure 3 Rotated and unrotated link label

Object Managers
The former Extra Lists and Family Browsers have been significantly
improved.
• They are now called Object Managers: Document, Quotation,
Code, Memo, Family, and Network Managers.
• All object managers have a menu and toolbar.
• List display can be switched between the various common display
options (similar to those of the Windows Explorer).
• Multiple item selection is supported. This is useful, for example,
to print selected code(s) or memo(s).
• Forward incremental search allows you to select a specific item by
simply starting to type its name.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 17


Object Explorer
Some important improvements have been made in the Object Explorer,
Code Forest, and Code Tree:

The Object Explorer as a Window Manager


The Object Explorer used as a Window Manager makes it a
convenient access tool for all objects. Double-click the composite
objects (i.e., Primary Docs, Codes, Memos, etc.) to open the
corresponding Object Manager.

Browsing Super Codes & Families


The queries associated with Super Codes are displayed hierarchically.
Various components of the query can be separately processed.

Display Qualified Link Names


Until now, code-code links and hyperlinks did not indicate the kind of
relation used when displayed in the Object Explorer.

Symmetric Link Display


Representing symmetric links in a hierarchical view is problematic.
How should the two codes “Smoke” and “Fire” engaged in a
symmetric link be displayed? Our solution: display “Fire” as the parent
of “Smoke” and “Smoke” as the parent of “Fire” and prevent infinite
expanding of the hierarchy caused by such a cyclic arrangement,
which would create an error. In the figure below, the code “Smoke”
underneath “Fire” is displayed in gray and cannot be further expanded.

Figure 4 – a symmetric link displayed in the Object Explorer

Families
Family Managers

18 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Family Managers can be accessed from the Object Manager by
clicking the Family button . Objects can now also be assigned
as family members by dragging them from other Object Managers,
the margin area, and the Crawler into the member pane of a Family
Manager.

Super Families
Similar to the idea of Super Codes, ATLAS.ti 5 offers the possibility
of creating Super Families for primary documents, codes, and memos.
For example, you can combine the family for “Gender-Female” with
the family for “Position-Executive” to create “Female Executives.”
Such super families make powerful filters.

PD-Family Tables
The relation between PDs (Primary Documents) and their families can
be transported (exported and imported) using the Excel™- compatible
CSV format. This data exchange format can be used to conveniently
assign a large number of PDs from generic lists. This feature is
explained in “PD-Family Table” on page 195.

Teamwork Support
ATLAS.ti has always supported teams of authors. This approach has
been further elaborated and we can now offer a powerful context for
multiple authors editing PDs.

Shared Documents
To make documents accessible and editable from different
projects and users, a sophisticated change management and multi-
user access system has been implemented.
A pool of documents can be safely used and shared between
different HUs. However, a feature that allows more than one user
to work concurrently on the same HU is not yet available. Private
HUs still need to be merged when needed.
Maintaining project integrity in team contexts and changing
document content was not a trivial thing to do. See details in
“Inside Editing Primary Documents” on page 83.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 19


Change of Ownership
You can change the author originally assigned to an object at creation
time. This can be done for a selection of items using the Object
Managers or for all objects of specific authors. The latter global
change can be accomplished via the HU Editor’s main menu
(EXTRAS/CHANGE OBJECT OWNERSHIP).

Password Protection for HUs


HUs can be password-protected by assigning a password via
EXTRAS/CHANGE ACCESS RIGHTS. If you choose this option,
you must enter a password when you load the HU

SPSS™-Output
ATLAS.ti 5 now allows generation of a separate data matrix file along
with the syntax file. This overcomes a limitation of SPSS™ in regard
to the maximum size of data embedded in the syntax file, and thus
makes much larger jobs possible.
Other changes include an optional task section and a user defined
separator for creating scaled variables.
General Preferences lets you can define the folder where you want to
store SPSS™ output.

XML Support
ATLAS.ti 5 can now export complete projects (HUs) as XML.
(TOOLS/XML/EXPORT TO: XML). For more information see “Export &
Import using XML” on page 301.
The XML Converter allows the application of a variety of style sheets
to produce individual reports and other representations of an XML
formatted HU. Style sheets are supplied and can be modified to your
needs.

20 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 5 Style sheet “CSS Switcher” applied to a HU and displayed in Internet Explorer

For more information see “Creating Reports with the XML Converter”
on page 315.

Miscellaneous

Filter Visualization
When objects are filtered, the background color of the affected Object
Manager’s list pane and of the corresponding drop-down list is
changed.
The current filter is displayed in the status bar.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 21


Figure 6 – Display of Object Manager and drop-down list when a filter is active

Word Cruncher
The Word Cruncher has also been improved. Word frequency counts
can now be applied to more than one PD. Regular expressions can be
used in stop lists. In addition, various output formats can be specified.
Results can be directly displayed in Excel™.

Hyperlinks
When creating output for hyperlinks, the full text of all hyperlinked
quotations is shown.
Additional options to create hyperlinks using drag & drop (margin,
manager) are now available.
Hyperlinks can be inspected and modified using the Hyperlink
Manager.

Locales Support
East-Asian languages are supported on native Windows systems
台北台北
and – limited – on non-native Windows versions. Now you can see
Japanese text in the margin area!
Right-to-left Middle East languages (Arabic, Hebrew) are supported
by mirroring several controls (tree and list view), and placing the
scrollbar to the left of a window pane.

22 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Windows Integration
ATLAS.ti 5 is now more smoothly integrated with the overall
Windows architecture. Some information about an HU (comment,
keywords) is accessible via Windows Explorer properties.

What Has Not Changed


Development of ATLAS.ti 5 has concentrated very much on the
content richness of primary document and concurrent and consistent
editing. Many other features have been added, others refurbished and
improved.
What has not been changed is the overall conceptual foundation. There
are still the four main concepts: primary documents, quotations, codes,
and memos.
You can start right away and code your data as usual, even if you are
not yet familiar with the new bells and whistles that ATLAS.ti 5
offers. The Query Tool, the Family Managers, and the Network Editor
also function as usual.
The handling of multimedia documents also remains largely the same.

If You Have Used ATLAS.ti Before


You can start using your knowledge about ATLAS.ti and your old
projects and data right away. There is no need to study the manual in
full detail or to apply complex conversions as you start using
ATLAS.ti 5. However, reading the chapter “Project Management” on
page 267, and especially “Optimizing Projects for ATLAS.ti 5.0” on
page 286, is strongly recommended to facilitate your transition to
ATLAS.ti 5.

Can I Use my Old Hermeneutic Units and Primary


Documents?
The short answer to this burning question is YES.

Migrating HUs
ATLAS.ti 5 can read all your current HUs which have the file
extension HPR and silently convert them to the new format, using the
file extension HPR5 . In addition, old and new HUs display different
icons in the Windows Explorer on your desktop, making them easy to
distinguish.
All PDs from ATLAS.ti 4 projects can also be used without any
modification and are displayed and processed correctly.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 23


Note: a HU created or modified with ATLAS.ti 5.0 cannot be used in
ATLAS.ti 4.2.

Migrating PDs
You can use all your “legacy” documents without any changes.
However, to fully maximize the new capabilities, especially in regard
to textual documents, (dynamic wrapping, search spanning “lines”,
etc.) you should take a closer look at “Converting Documents to New
Paragraph Model” on page 89.

24 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Main Concepts

The following is a short overview of the main processes and concepts


related to working with ATLAS.ti.

The Process
There are two principal modes of working with ATLAS.ti, the
Textual Level and the Conceptual Level. The Textual Level
includes activities like segmentation of data files; coding text,
image, audio, and video passages; and writing memos. The
Conceptual Level focuses on model-building activities such as
linking codes to networks. A third and equally important aspect is
the management of projects and the data.

Note: Although other media types like graphic, audio, and video files
can also be used as “Primary Documents (PDs),” we mainly use the
terms "text" and "textual" level regardless of the specific media that is
involved.

Data and Project Management


You must prepare your data and set up your project before you begin
textual-level work. There are several issues to consider at this point.
• Where will you store your data?
• Do you think you might have to move your project at some point?
• Should data be edited after it is assigned to ATLAS.ti?
• Do you need data to be shared among team members?
Consult “Project Management” on page 267 for further detail.

Textual-Level Work
Textual-level research activities include segmenting PDs into
quotations, adding comments to respective passages (note-
making/annotating), and coding selected PD passages, secondary text
materials, annotations, and memos to facilitate their retrieval. The act

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 25


of comparing noteworthy segments leads to a creative
conceptualization phase that involves higher-level interpretive work
and theory-building.
Text - Structure - Text
The overall process of text
interpretation with
ATLAS.ti proceeds from
text to structure to text.

Figure 7 - Text-Structure-Text.

ATLAS.ti assists you in all of these tasks and provides a


comprehensive overview of your work as well as rapid search,
retrieval, and browsing functions.
Within ATLAS.ti, initial ideas often find expression through their
assignment to a code or memo, to which similar ideas or text
selections also become assigned. ATLAS.ti provides the researcher
with a highly effective means for quickly retrieving all data selections
and notes relevant to one idea.
See “The Textual Level - Basic Functions” on page 105 for details.

Conceptual Level Work


Beyond coding and retrieval, ATLAS.ti's networking feature
allows you to visually "connect" selected passages, memos, and
codes into diagrams that graphically outline complex relations.
This feature virtually transforms your text-based workspace into a
graphical "playground" where you can construct concepts and
theories based on relationships between codes, text passages, or
memos. This process sometimes uncovers other relations in the
data that were not obvious before and still allows you the ability to
instantly revert to your notes or primary text selection. Such
textual/conceptual modeling is unique to ATLAS.ti.

See “The Conceptual Level: Networks” on page 209 for more details.

General Steps when Working with ATLAS.ti


The following sequence of steps is not mandatory, but describes a
common "script":

26 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


1. Create a project, an "idea container," meant to enclose your data,
all your findings, codes, memos, and structures under a single
name. We call this a "Hermeneutic Unit" (HU).
2. Next, assign documents (text, graphic, audio, or video files) as
PDs to the HU. The data files become the source material for
your project’s PDs and can be located anywhere on your
computer or a network.

Note: By completing step 1 and 2, you have already created


something useful: a framework that compiles many documents around
a theme. This framework is practical, too, because a single file (the
HU) gives you meaningful, immediate, and easy access to hundreds or
even thousands of files (once assigned).

3. Read and select text passages (or identify areas in an image or a


multimedia document) that are of further interest, assign key
words (codes), and write memos that contain your thinking about
the data. We call this the Textual-Level working phase, whereby
"textual" not only refers to "text" but also to graphic, audio, or
video data.
4. Compare data segments based on the codes you have assigned;
possibly assign more data files to the project.
5. Organize PDs, codes, and memos using “Families.”
6. Build semantic, prepositional or terminological networks from
the codes you have created. These networks, together with your
codes and memos, form the framework for emerging theory.
7. If appropriate, you can also export data for further analysis with
statistical software.
8. Finally, compile a written report based on the memos you have
written throughout the various phases of your project and the
networks you have created and even publish your project as a
World Wide Web document or an individual presentation using
XML.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 27


Figure 8 The ATLAS.ti workflow

The Hermeneutic Unit


The HU provides the data structure for each project in ATLAS.ti. The
name was chosen to reflect the approach we have taken when building
a support tool for text interpretation. There was no intention to frighten
potential users with this admittedly "tongue breaking" name.
If you understand the HU concept, then you understand almost
Get acquainted everything that is necessary to work with ATLAS.ti!. And, in spite
with this concept! of its impressive name, it is simple and practical to use.
Everything that is relevant to a particular project (e.g., a research
topic) is part of the HU and resides in the electronic environment! For
instance, the PDs representing the data sources, quotations, codes used
for developing concepts, conceptual linkages (families, networks), and
memos, etc., are all part of one HU.
One obvious advantage of this bundling is that the user only has to
deal with and think of one entity. Activating an HU is the
straightforward selection of a single file; all associated material is then
activated automatically.

28 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The lowest level of an HU
contains the PDs, followed
closely by the "quotations"
as selections of PDs. Codes
refer to quotations. Memos
- you meet them
everywhere.

Figure 9 - The hierarchy of objects inside a Hermeneutic Unit

The HU is the "spider An HU can become a highly connected entity, a dense web of
in the web". primary data, associated memos and codes, and interrelations
between the codes and the data. To find your way through this web,
ATLAS.ti provides powerful browsing and editing tools.

Primary Documents
PDs represent the text, graphical, audio, and/or video materials that
you wish to interpret. The content of PDs is usually stored in data
PDs represent data files on your computer.
sources
PDs are usually created by assigning files to an HU. You can,
however, also assign a memo as a PD. You can assign as many
documents as needed for a given HU.

Note: we make a distinction between a PD and its data source (file,


memo). However, unless the distinction is an important issue to
consider, we often speak of PDs as if they are identical to the data files
to which they refer.

See “Assigning Primary Documents” on page 63 for details.

Media Types
ATLAS.ti can display and process four different media types: text,
graphic, audio, and video data.

Text
Textual PDs can consist of plain or rich text (RTF = Rich Text
Format). Objects like a PowerPoint™ presentation or an Excel™ table

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 29


can be embedded and edited. See “Preparing Textual Documents” on
page 70.

Using Word and Other Text Processor’s Files


With restrictions, Word™, WordPerfect™, MS Works™ or HTML
documents can be directly used as PDs. See “Word, HTML and Other
File Formats” on page 70 for details.

Images
More than twenty graphic file formats are directly supported by
ATLAS.ti including Windows Bitmap (BMP), TIFF, JPG, and Kodak
Photo CD. See “Preparing Graphical Documents” on page 72.

Multimedia
ATLAS.ti supports a number of audio and video formats utilizing
Windows’ Multimedia Control Interface (MCI). MCI needs to be
correctly installed and configured in order to work with multimedia
files. See “Preparing Multimedia Documents” on page 72.

Quotations
A quotation is a segment from a PD that is interesting or important to
the user. In textual documents, a quotation is an arbitrary sequence of
characters ranging from a single character, a word, a sentence, or a
paragraph up to the entire data file.
Usually quotations are created by the researcher. However, if
repetitive words or phrases are found in the text, the Auto-Coding
feature can be used to automatically segment these quotations and
assign a code to them. When a quotation is created, ATLAS.ti
automatically assigns an identifier to it. This identifier is built from the
index of the primary text to which it belongs and the first 30 letters
(note that a different length can be set via PREFERENCES) of the text
segment, e.g., "1:21 Therefore a more efficient fil....". The identifier is
displayed in list windows and printouts. For graphic, audio, and video
segments, the original file name of the PD is chosen as an identifier.
Free quotations resemble Note: Although the creation of quotations is almost always part of
passages "scribbled" in the a broader task like coding or writing memos, "free" quotations can
margin of a book. be created that indicate interesting parts in the primary data for
.which a meaningful classification has not yet been found. See
“Creating Quotations” on page 110.

30 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Types of Quotations
In accordance with the four different types of PDs, there are also four
different types of quotations:

Text quotations
A textual quotation Textual quotations represent (for the computer) a sequence of
originates from an characters ("strings") and can be of arbitrary size. Sentences,
arbitrary sequence of speech turns, or paragraphs are often the basis for the length of
selected characters. textual quotations. Only text offers enough "syntactical clues" to
allow for searches for the occurrence of specific evidence that
may support a concept. Text also offers the option for automatic
segmentation as used by the Auto-Coding procedure (see also
“The Auto-Coding Tool” on page 149).

Graphic quotations
The creation, activation, and display of graphical quotations has
similarities with, but also differs from, their textual counterparts. A
graphical quotation is a rectangular region inside a graphical PD.
From its data structure, it is identical to textual quotations since
their main attributes are also the PD identifier and two coordinates
that mark the beginning and end, defining a rectangle through its
upper left and lower right corner.

Handling graphical quotations is analogous to marking text passages in


a textual document. See “Selecting Graphical Segments” on page 106.

Multimedia quotations
Audio quotations can be as short as a few milliseconds. The length of
an audio quotation can be selected on a track bar. Segment starts and
ends are displayed in the following format: minutes : seconds :
milliseconds. Instructions on how to handle multimedia quotations can
be found at “Navigating Multimedia and Selecting Segments” on page
107.
Video quotations are handled very similar to audio quotations.
Selection is done via a track bar, and the smallest unit you can select is
a frame.

Quotations as Layers
Quotations need to be regarded as a transparent layer on top of a
document. Quotations are stored independently of the PD inside the
Quotations are HU. Technically speaking, a quotation consists of the identifier (a
stored inside the HU, number) and a pair of coordinates that specify the beginning and
independent of the end of the quotation. The content of a PD file (the data source) is
document to which they

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 31


belong. therefore not altered by the creation, deletion, or modification of
quotations.

Codes
The term code is used in many different ways. First we would like to
define what that term means in qualitative research and then in
ATLAS.ti.

Objectives
From a methodological standpoint, codes serve a variety of purposes.
They capture meaning in the data. They also serve as handles for
specific occurrences in the data that cannot be found by simple text-
based search techniques.
Codes are used as classification devices at different levels of
abstraction in order to create sets of related information units for the
purpose of comparison (e.g., a concept like "Coping Strategy").
From a "low level" tool perspective, codes are typically short
Keep code names pieces of text referencing other pieces of text, graphical, audio, or
brief and succinct. Use video data. Their purpose is to classify an often large number of
memos or the comment textual or other data units.
pane for longer
In the realm of information retrieval systems, the terms "index,"
elaborations.
"indexing," or "keyword" are often used for what we call "code"
or "coding".
The length of a code should be restricted and should not be too
verbose. If textual annotations are what you want, you should use
memos instead.

Super Codes
A Super Code differs from a standard code. A standard code is directly
linked with the quotations to which it is associated, while a Super
Code is a query that typically consists of several combined codes. See
“Super Codes” on page 175 for details.

Memos
Memos capture your thoughts regarding the text and are an important
device for creating theory. A "memo" is similar to a code, but usually
contains longer passages of text.

32 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


A memo may "stand alone" or it may refer to quotations, codes, and
other memos. They can be grouped according to types (method,
theoretical, descriptive, etc.), which is helpful in organizing and
sorting them. Memos may also be included as the objects of analysis
by assigning them as PDs.

Families
Families are a way to form clusters of PDs, codes, and memos for
easier handling of groups of codes, memos, and PDs. For more detail,
see the chapter “Family Life” on page 189.
Families can be combined using logical operators similar to codes and
Super Codes (see “Super Families” on page 190).

Network Views
Network Views are a bit more sophisticated than Families. They allow
you to conceptualize the structure by connecting sets of similar
elements together in a visual diagram. With the aid of Network Views
you can express relationships between codes, quotations, and memos.
PDs, families and even Network Views can also be “nodes” in a
network view.

Nodes, Links & Relations


A node is any object that is displayed in a Network View. You can
change their look and move them around in the Network Editor.
Relations are link prototypes used to create a link between two codes
or between two quotations. An example is the “is-a” (ISA) relation,
which is frequently used to link concepts of different abstraction level
(e.g., DOG <isa> MAMMAL).

General Properties of Objects

Comments
Everything can be Comments are not "first class objects" themselves. They do not
commented in ATLAS.ti. have a name, they do not have their own list window, nor do they
have any property other than the text they contain. However, they
are an important attribute of the objects described above.
Writing is one of the main activities when working with ATLAS.ti.
Although the system does not give you much help with what you
write, it does support you in attaching your writings to the appropriate
location.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 33


All objects described so far have a "slot" that can be filled with a
comment. The first comment you write is typically a comment for the
HU, which appears in the HU browser and in output created with the
HTML and XML generator. But even links and relations can be
commented.

Authorship
Authorship is essentially “ownership.” Any item created while a user
is logged in will be tagged with the name designated for that user. By
using filters, it is possible to compare the work of different authors in
the same project. Some division of labor strategies will prevent
tracing all work done by each person.
Authorship can be changed globally or on an object by object basis.

34 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Workbench Tools Overview

The All-in-One Workbench Concept


ATLAS.ti - The Knowledge Workbench is a tightly integrated
collection of individual tools that support your analysis of written
texts, audio, video, and graphic data. Easy transition between the tools
is important to fit the typical work flow of the qualitative researcher.
Some of the tools, such as the Object Managers, the Network
Editor, the Object Explorer, the Code Forest and the Code
Tree, help you to browse and navigate through your data structures
and concepts.
Other tools, like the Hermeneutic Unit (HU) Editor, the Text
Editors, and the Memo tool help with reading, annotating, and
writing during your analytical process.
For searching, the Text Search Tool, the Auto Coding Tool
(Auto Coder), the Object Crawler, and the Query Tool are at
your disposal.
For bridging the qualitative-quantitative gap, the SPSS Export
function and the WordCruncher might meet your needs
Support for teamwork and collaborative projects comes with the User
Administration tool, the HU Merger, the Redundant Coding
Analyzer, the HTML and XML generators.
Most of the tools typically belong to more than just one of these broad
categories: for example, Object Managers are used for browsing as
well as for editing codes and memos.

The Tools

Hermeneutic Unit Editor


The HU Editor is the main window and usually the first thing you see
after starting the system. It lets you manage, view, and annotate
primary documents (PDs), which are typically the starting point of
your research (see “Main Workspace: The HU Editor” on page 39).

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 35


Object Managers
Object Managers were formerly called "extra lists." In ATLAS.ti 5
their functionalities have been extended considerably and instead of
just displaying a list of objects, they now offer a variety of additional
functions that turn them into "Managers" (see “The Object Managers”
on page 44). Object Managers are probably the most frequently used
tools besides the HU Editor.

Hermeneutic Unit Browser


Although you can load projects using the standard file dialog, the HU
Browser displays some additional information for every HU that you
select before loading it.

Text Editor
Text editors can be opened to edit comments, to create and edit
memos, and to view, format, and print results. All editors are capable
of displaying and editing rich text format (RTF). They offer
WordPad™ alike comfort and editing features.

Object Explorer
The Object Explorer displays all the elements of an HU in a strictly
hierarchical manner, even if the structures are non-hierarchical, or
even cyclic (see “The Object Explorer” on page 181).

Family Manager
Codes, memos, and PDs can be grouped within "families". The Family
Manager is the tool with which you create, modify, and edit them (see
“The Family Manager” on page 190).

Text Search Tool


From simple string matching to sophisticated pattern match (GREP)
and category search, all is available in the Text Search Tool (see “The
Text Search Tool” on page 142).

Query Tool
For more complex search requests, the Query Tool is at your disposal.
Here you can formulate search requests that are based on combinations
of codes (see “The Query Tool” on page 158).

36 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Word Cruncher
The Word Cruncher counts all words in textual PDs. The count can be
limited to one PD only. To clean up the count, a stop list can be
defined to exclude special symbols or words like ‘and,’ ‘or,’ ‘the,’ etc.
The result can be displayed in an Excel table (see “The Word
Cruncher” on page 153).

Object Crawler
With the Object Crawler, you can search all of the parts of your project
within ATLAS.ti that contain text. Searches are not restricted to just
textual PDs: codes, memos, quotations, all families, code-code links,
hyper-links, and the HU can be searched. In addition, the scope of the
search can be limited to certain fields (see “The Object Crawler” on
page 156).

Auto Coding Tool


If the text itself contains important key words, the Auto Coding Tool
scans the text and automatically assigns a pre-selected code to
matching text passages. If so desired, the process can be controlled by
manual confirmation of each action (see “The Auto-Coding Tool” on
page 149).

Network View Manager


The Network View Manager contains a list of all previously
constructed and saved Network Views. It can be used to create new
Network Views, to access or delete existing ones, or to write and edit
comments.

Network Editor
The Network Editor displays and offers all editing capability to
construct and refine semantic networks. In addition, it allows the
visual creation and traversal of hypertext structures (see “The Network
Editor et. al.” on page 213).

Relation Editor
When the built-in relations that are used to connect objects in Network
Views are not sufficient, you can edit them or create new ones using
the Relation Editor (see “The Relation Editor” on page 233).

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Introduction • 37


Hermeneutic Unit Merger
This tool merges different HU. A variety of options to control the
merge strategy are offered (see “Merging Hermeneutic Units” on page
286 for details).

Coding Analyzer
The Coding Analyzer is helpful after merging HUs. It tests for
redundant codes, i.e., codes used more than once for data segments
that overlap or are embedded in one another (see “Redundant Coding
Analyzer” on page 186).

HTML Generator
Publishing online or just creating a printout from a project is available
with the HTML generator. The results can be viewed platform
independent with any Web browser (see “HTML Export” on page
304).

XML Generator
The XML generator exports all information contained in an HU in
XML format. This universal, open data format allows for a wide
variety of possibilities for display, processing, and even integration of
your data with external applications (see “Export & Import using
XML” on page 301).

XML Converter
The XML Converter lists HUs saved in XML format and applies so-
called "style sheets" (miniature programs written in XSLT) to the
XML files. The user may edit the supplied style sheets or add new
ones. (see “Creating Reports with the XML Converter” on page 315).

User Administration
Manage the ATLAS.ti user database through the user administration
tool. This is a prerequisite for collaborative work, but is also useful to
individual users through personalizing the login or protecting an HU
with a password (see “User Management” on page 262).

38 • Introduction A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Main Workspace: The HU Editor

Overview
The Hermeneutic Unit (HU) Editor is the main workspace. It is
opened after the start of the program, and will be your “home
page” most of the time.

Figure 10 The HU Editor with activated line numbers and margin area.

The HU Editor serves as the main editing tool and offers access to
all other workbench tools.
With all optional controls, buttons, and "panes" visible, the HU
Editor looks rather overwhelming at first. You can decide which
parts of the window to display and customize its appearance to
your needs. Use the VIEWS menu to hide some of the buttons,
windows, etc.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 39


Components of the HU Editor
The numbers in brackets refer to the figure above showing the HU
editor.

Title Bar
The title bar is common to all windows and dialog boxes. It
displays the name of the HU that is currently being edited.

Main Menu
The main menu below the title bar offers access to the different
kinds of objects that populate an HU. Commands found in the main
menu are often also available from context menus and toolbar
buttons. For a description of all available menu options refer to
“The HU Editor's Menus” on page 344.

Toolbars
Toolbars offer functions that are generally also available as menu
commands. A short “tool tip” help text is displayed when the
mouse pointer rests on a tool button. The toolbars functions are
described in section ”The HU Editor’s Toolbars” on page 370

The Main Toolbar [1]


The main toolbar offers many major functions. Unless switched off
via the VIEWS menu, it is always available.

The Edit Toolbar [2]


The Edit toolbar is available only when an editable Primary
Document (PD) is displayed. The tools from the Editing Toolbar
can be used after entering edit mode. The various options are
explained further in the section on “Editing Primary Documents”
on page 76.

The Primary Document Toolbar [4]


The PD toolbar is to the left of the PD pane. Note that it is disabled
unless a document is loaded.

Object Drop-Down Lists [3]


Below the main toolbar, you find four drop-down lists that
contain the HU’s main entities. From left to right, these are the
The codes drop-down list drop-down lists for: PDs, quotations, codes, and memos.
Click into the entry field or the little drop-down arrow on the
right to select an object. Click the button to the left of the entry
field to open an Object Manager.

40 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Primary Document Pane [5]
The dominant window pane in the HU Editor is the Primary
Document Pane. This pane is the central workspace where text or
graphic material is reviewed, marked, coded, and annotated. It is
usually augmented by the Paragraph number pane [6] and the
margin area [8].

Line/Paragraph Number Area [6]


To the left of the text area, but still inside the PD pane,
Line/Paragraph paragraph numbers can be displayed. In fact, displayed is a
Number button new number for every piece of text followed by a hard return.
Only when using “legacy” documents with hard returns for every
line, (see “Handling Legacy Documents” on page 71), the numbers
displayed alongside the document can be interpreted as “lines”.

Note: For video and audio documents, line/paragraph numbers,


and the margin area are not displayed.

Margin Area [8]


To the right hand side of the PD area is the optional margin
Margin Area button area. Brackets are used to indicate quotations. Attached codes,
memos, and hyperlinks are displayed next to the brackets.
The margin area is fully interactive: the displayed objects are
sensitive to mouse clicks and have their own context menus. In
addition, a variety of drag-and-drop options are possible. See
“Margin Drag & Drop” on page 133 for more detail.

Resize the margin


area using the split bar
[9] between the PD pane
and the margin pane.

Objects in the margin


area are "click-
sensitive". Double-click
on an object to display
comments. Right click on
an object to open a
context menu.

Figure 11 – Comment and context menu for a code in the margin area

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 41


Note: A general context menu can be opened inside the margin
area by moving the mouse pointer onto the background between
the objects. It allows you to set display properties of the objects.

Margin area preferences


Several individual preferences can be set for the margin area: the
kind of objects shown, whether icons should be used, whether in-
place editing should be allowed, etc. In order to set your individual
preferences:
Select EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES (or use the “hammer” button)
and select the Margin tab. For further information, please refer to
“The General Preferences Dialog” on page 334.

Status Bar [7]


The status bar is at the bottom of the window. The leftmost field
informs the user about successful termination of operations,
displays the file name of the currently loaded file, contains short
help texts for menu items and buttons, and shows error messages
when necessary.

Figure 12 - The HU Editor's Status Bar

The icon next to the main information field changes to a book


when the PD is switched to edit mode.
The next field displays the document’s content type (e.g., ANSI,
OEM, Graphic).
Next comes a hint regarding the currently used code page (0 =
standard code page).
The last field displays the current time.

The Pop-up Menus


‘Context’ or ‘pop-up’ menus are used for commands that apply to a
Pop-up or selected object or to a specific sub-pane inside a multi-pane
"context" menus are window. A pop-up menu is activated by a right mouse click at the
activated with a right current location of the mouse pointer. They are also termed context
mouse button click. sensitive because the offered commands depend on the type and the
current state of the object or the context in which the menu was
activated.
Using pop-up menus to initiate procedures is a three-step procedure
typical for window-mouse user interfaces:
1. Select an object.
2. Open the pop-up menu with the right mouse button.

42 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


3. Select a command with the left mouse button.
The HU editor provides specific pop-up menus in each of its sub-
panes. The PD pane alone offers a variety of pop-up menus,
depending on what is currently displayed or selected. When there is
no PD displayed (e.g., directly after starting a session or after
closing a PD) you get the wallpaper menu:
The Wallpaper pop-up
menu.

When a PD is loaded and a chunk of text is selected, a different


pop-up menu is displayed:
Pop-up menu for selected
text.

If the selection is an existing quotation, the pop-up menu gets more


specific:
Pop-up menu for a
quotation.

The commands are tailored to the objects under the cursor at the
time the context menu pops up.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 43


The Object Managers
The advantage of drop-down lists is that they save space. To
provide more efficient access to the objects listed in the drop-
Object Manager button down lists, the lists can be displayed in a detached window.
These windows are called Object Managers because they not
only allow access to the objects, but provide many more options
and functions. Although not an integral part of the HU editor, the
Object Managers are common tools that are part of the main
editor and therefore are described in this section.

Note for ATLAS.ti 4.2 users: Object Managers were formerly


called Extra Lists.

Like many other tools that can be invoked from the main editor, an
Object Manager is a child or dependent window of the main editor.
Child windows have some common properties:
• They are closely related to their parent window (here: the HU
editor) and changes in either the child or the parent window are
usually "broadcast" between them (like the selections of
objects).
• They can be resized and positioned independently of their
parent window.
• They are minimized when the parent window is minimized and
they are restored with their parent window.
• They are closed when the parent window is closed.
• However, child windows do NOT move with the parent
window.
On low resolution screens, Object Managers can cover relatively
large areas of the workspace. You can use the roll-up mode to save
screen space (see “Rollup Mode” on page 11).

Launching an Object Manager


To the left of every drop-down list is a button to launch the
corresponding Object Manager.

44 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 13 – PD drop-down list and the corresponding Object Manager

Alternatively, choose OBJECT MANAGER from the corresponding


main menu entry.

The Object Manager Window


The four Object Managers have some common properties. The
general layout of their window is as follows:

Title, Menu, and Toolbar


The title bar displays the object type. In the figure above the PD
Manager is shown. The menu and the toolbar below the title bar
offer access to frequently used functions, some of which are also
accessible from pop-up menus.
As the functions are different for all four object types, menu and
toolbar options differ for the four Object Managers. The toolbar
options are described in more detail below. The menu items
resemble the corresponding main menus in the HU Editor (see
“Reference” on page 334 for a description of all menu items).
Note that not all options are available at all times. Some menu and
toolbar options need either a single selection or multiple selections.

The List Pane


Below the toolbar is the list pane. Unlike the Object Explorer or the
Network Editor that can handle heterogeneous collections of
objects, the Object Managers display objects of only one type.
When you are in “Details” view mode, a number of attributes of
the items are displayed in a table-like manner. The order of the
columns can be changed by dragging a column to a different
position in the list. Items can be sorted or reversed by clicking on
the respective column header.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 45


The Text Pane
The text pane, located below the list pane, displays the comment
or, in the case of memos, the text body. All text panes are Rich
Text compatible.

The Split Bar


The relative size of the list and comment pane can be modified by
dragging the split bar between the two panes. The cursor changes
when the mouse moves over the split bar. You can resize the
adjacent panes by dragging the split bar to the desired position.

The Status Bar


The status bar’s fields display from left to right the number of
objects, the selected object, the filter, and the sort option.

The status bar above indicates that the Quotation Manager lists 11
quotations with quotation 4:2 selected. The filter is set to display
only hyperlinked quotations, and items are sorted by “Author.”
For additional information about how to use the status bar for sort-
and filter-related procedures see “Sorting and Filtering” on page
135.

The Pop-Up Menus


The list and text panes offer context sensitive pop-up menus. The
list pane’s context menu contains a portion of the commands
available from the main menu for the selected objects. The text
pane’s menu offers standard commands for editing and formatting.

46 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


View Menu
View Options are the same for all Object Managers.
Choose between viewing large icons, small icons, a list of items,
or a list of items plus additional information in details view.
ARRANGE ICONS and ALIGN permits some control over the default
positions of items in icon and list view.
ZOOM LIST hides the toolbar, comment pane, and status bar. In
combination with Single Column view, the appearance resembles
the old-style Object Lists of ATLAS.ti 4.
SHOW TOOLBAR toggles display of the toolbar.
WRAP TOOLBAR displays all buttons in multiple rows if needed.
USE GRID displays lines between rows in Details view.
EDIT LABELS enables in-place editing.
USE IMAGES toggles the display of item icons.
FONT individually specifies the font used for this list. The default
font for the list and the text area can be set in General
Preferences.
LEDGER STYLE shades every other row.
REFRESH (F5) refreshes the list display.
SELECT ALL ITEMS is self-explanatory.

Selecting Items in Object Managers


Next to thinking, clicking will likely be one of the most frequent
activities when working with ATLAS.ti.
Clicking is done in many different ways such as single- and
double-clicking and clicking with the left or the right mouse
button. The "semantics" of a mouse-click are not perfectly
straightforward, and a few variations must be learned.
A single click with the left mouse button selects and highlights an
item in each of the Object Managers.
A single click selects an
object, a double-click Double-clicking an item selects the object and invokes a
executes an associated procedure depending on the type and state of the object. The
action for the object. effect of a double-clicking is described for each of the Object
Managers below.
For multiple selections, you may use the standard Windows
selection techniques.

Sorting and Filtering


The Object Managers permit comfortable sorting and filtering. See
“Sorting and Filtering” on page 135 for details.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 47


Incremental List Search
This feature is available in the list pane of all Object Managers.
Select any item in the list and type in an arbitrary sequence of
characters to jump to a subsequent list entry matching this
sequence.
For example, suppose a number of codes begin with "em" (e.g.,
"Emotions") and others with "ex" (e.g., "External Reference"):
typing "em" will jump to the first of the "EMotion …" codes,
while entering "ex" will jump to "EXternal reference." Every other
character typed advances the focus to the next list entry unless a
matching name cannot be found.
The asterisk * enables A very powerful variation to locate list entries is by typing the
mid-string matches for asterisk (*) as the first character. While the standard incremental
incremental search. search is always anchored to the start of the name, using the
asterisk allows the matching string to appear anywhere inside the
name.
Example: typing “*ref “ would jump to entry "External Reference"
while “ref” would stop at “Reference” if such an entry exists.
This feature is especially useful for searching the Quotation
Manager, as quotations have a numeric prefix (like 208:1977).
Note: You need to avoid long breaks between entering characters.
After a certain system-defined timeout, the next character starts a
new forward search.

In-place Label Editing


In-place editing in Object Managers is a convenient way to rename
objects. On a selected item, you can initiate in-place editing by
either clicking again or pressing the F2 key. Don't rush the second
click, though, as this initiates a double-click action.

Editing Text
In the Object Managers, the comment for the selected object or a
memo’s content is displayed in the text pane below the list pane.
You may edit the text right there or you might prefer to open a full-
fledged text editor. For minor changes, working in the Object
Manager’s text pane is quite comfortable.
There are several ways to save a changed comment. With General
Preferences set to "Accept changes in browser silently," an object’s
comment (or a memo’s body) is saved automatically whenever you
select another object in the list. This is a quick way to save.
However, you will also change the text if you click on another item
accidentally.
If you are not using the Quick Save option, you need to confirm
saving the comment/memo when selecting another object in the
list.

48 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Changes can be explicitly saved at any time by pressing the Ctrl-S
key combination, or via EDIT/ACCEPT from the Object Manager’s
menu.

Primary Document Manager


For many operations, the Primary Document Manager is easier to
handle than the drop-down list. For instance, using drag & drop,
files can be assigned directly and very efficiently to an HU (see
“Assigning Documents using Drag & Drop” on page 66).
The PD Manager also allows drag & drop rearranging of the
documents (see “Rearranging Primary Documents Using Drag &
Drop” on page 68).
One document is
selected in the PD
Manager. Its comment
is displayed in the text
pane.

Figure 14 - The Primary Document Manager with one PD selected. Its comment
displayed in the text pane.

Single-click selects a quotation. If you have written a comment for


the selected PD, it is displayed in the text pane.
Single-click – pause – single-click (or F2) activates in-place
editing of PD names.
Double-click: Double-clicking a PD loads the data source and
displays its content in the PD pane.
Multiple Selection: You can select more than one PD at a time.
This is useful for printing a selected list of PDs (OUTPUT/LIST).
Colors:
• Usable PDs are colored black.
• PDs that are available but cannot be loaded due to a
consistency problem are colored red.
• PDs with an inaccessible data source file are colored gray.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 49


The PD Manager Toolbar
The toolbar is a convenient alternative to selecting procedures via
the menus.

Open network view


Edit comment Open PD family
Toggle always on top browser

Assign primary doc

Disconnect primary doc


Create output
Toggle list view

PD Manager List Columns


The columns of the PD Manager’s details view offer a vast amount
of information to keep track of possible access problems. The
arrangement of columns may differ from your current setting.

ID: The internal ID number assigned to the document when it was


first added as a PD. An icon indicates the document type.
Name: The name of the PD. Note that this name can differ from
the file name, as PDs can be renamed within ATLAS.ti.
Origin: The original location of the PD’s data source from where it
was assigned to the HU.
Usable: ‘Yes’ indicates that a PD’s data source can be loaded, and
‘no’, indicates that the data source not accessible. See “How
ATLAS.ti Handles Documents” on page 91 for further information.
Location: The actual location of the data source file acquired via
redirection. Dashes indicate that Origin and Location are identical.
Media: The media type.
Author: The name of the ATLAS.ti user who assigned the
document.
Created: The date the document was assigned to this HU.
Modified: The date when the PD was last modified. Modification
is not the modification of the data source, but the date of last usage
within ATLAS.ti, e.g., a quotation was created or removed.
Quotations: The number of quotations created for this PD.

Quotation Manager
This Manager offers you several display and sorting options.

50 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


A double-click on a
quotation loads its PD
(unless already loaded)n
and displays its content
in context..
In this example,
quotation “1.2” is
selected and its comment
displayed in the text
pane.

Figure 15 - The Quotation Manager

Single-click selects a quotation. If you have written a comment for


the selected quotation, it is displayed in the text pane.
Single-click – pause – single-click (or F2) activates in-place
editing of quotation names.
Double-click: A double-click on a list entry displays the selected
quotation in context.
Multiple Selection: You can select more than one quotation at a
time, either to delete them, to attach codes, to open a network on
them, or to create output.
Drag & Drop: By dragging one or more quotations onto other
quotations, you create hyperlinks.
Colors: The color pattern for quotations follows the same rules as
for PDs:
• Quotations that can be activated and displayed are listed in
black.
• Quotations from PDs that are available but cannot be loaded
due to a mismatching log file or other problems are displayed
in red.
• Quotations from PDs with inaccessible data source files are
displayed in gray.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 51


Quotation Manager Toolbar
Next /previous quotation
Open network view Toggle view
Toggle always on top
Create output
Edit comment

Create source link


Create target link
Delete quotation

Quotation Manager List Columns

ID: The ID combines the PD ID and the quotation sequence


number. In the example above, the first ID number is 3:10, which
means that the quotation is part of the third (3:) document, and it is
the 10th (:10) quotation that was created in this document.
Quotations are numbered in chronological and not in sequential
order. The tilde sign ~ indicates that a comment was written for
this quotation; the bracket symbol < indicates that the quotation is a
start anchor for a hyperlink
Name: The first few characters of a quotation are used as the
default list name. This name can be changed if desired. The default
name of a graphic, audio, or video quotation is the name of the data
file name.
Size (item type dependent):
• Text quotation: number of lines/paragraphs defined by the
number of hard returns
• Graphic quotation: height in pixel of the quotation’s rectangle.
• Audio quotation: milliseconds
• Video quotation: frames
Start (item type dependent):
Text quotation: line/paragraph number and start position within the
paragraph.
Graphic quotation: upper left coordinate
Audio quotation: h:mm:ss:mil (hours:minutes:seconds:
milliseconds)
Video quotations: start frame
Density: Number of links to other quotations.
Author: Name of user who created the item.
Created: Creation date and time.

52 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Modified: Date and time of last modification.

Code Manager
Besides the HU Editor, the Code Manager will probably one of
your most frequently used tools.
A double-click on a code
displays the coded
quotation highlighted in
the context of its PD. If
more than one quotation
is associated with this
code, a list pops up from
which a quotation can
be selected.

Figure 16 - Code Manager

The Code Manager is frequently used to create and modify codes,


to code data segments via drag & drop, and to retrieve coded data
segments. It can also be used to sort your codes in multiple ways in
order to analyze codebook evolution.
Single-click: Selects a code. If you have written a definition for the
selected code, it is displayed in the text pane. Once selected, the
code can be used for drag & drop coding.
Single-click – pause – single-click (or F2) activates in-place
editing of code names.
Double-click: Opens a list of quotations that have been coded with
this code.
Multiple Selection: You can select more than one code at a time to
delete, code a data segment with all of the selected codes, open a
network, create output, assign them to one or more code families,
or to create a code family containing the selected codes
(CODES/EDIT FAMILY).
Drag & Drop: You can use the Code Manager as a convenient tool
for coding by dragging codes onto a highlighted piece of data. If
you drag codes onto another code within the same list pane, code-
links will be created.
Colors: When icons are not displayed, Super Codes are displayed
in red.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 53


Code Manager Toolbar
Previous / next quotation Open code family
Edit Comment browser
Toggle always on top Toggle view
Create a new code

Open network view


Delete code
Create output

Code Manager List Columns

Name: Code name.


Grounded: Code frequency or "groundedness” (i.e., the number of
quotations to which the code is applied).
Density: Number of links to other codes.
Author: User who created the code.
Created: Creation date and time.
Modified: Date and time of last modification.

Memo Manager
The Memo Manager lists the HU’s memos. Memos created today
are listed in bold font. The text pane displays the content of the
selected memo.

54 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 17 – Memo Manager

Single-click selects a memo. The content of the memo is displayed


in the text pane.
Single-click – pause – single-click (or F2) activates in-place
editing of memo titles.
Double-click opens the memo editor. This behavior can be
changed to activate the quotation associated with a memo via
General Preferences.
Multiple Selection: You can select more than one memo at a time
for bulk deletion, to attach all selected memos to a data segment, to
open a network on them, to create output, to assign them to one or
more memo families, or to create a memo family containing the
selected memos (MEMOS/EDIT FAMILY).
Drag & Drop: You can attach a memo to a data selection
(“memoing”) by dragging it into the PD pane (applies to text and
image data).
Colors: Memos content resides in the HU’s file storage until
selected for the first time. Memos, which are not yet loaded are
displayed in gray. Memos which were created or modified today
are displayed bold.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 55


Memo Manager Toolbar
Open network view
Edit memo content
Open memo family
Toggle always on top browser
Create a new memo

Delete memo
Create output
Toggle view

Memo Manager List Columns

Name: Memo title.


Type: Memo type.
Grounded: Number of quotations to which a memo is connected.
Density: Number of objects to which a memo is connected.
Density is at least the size of “groundedness” because associated
quotations are counted.
Size: Size of text. Counts characters and embedded objects.
Author: Name of the user who created the memo.
Created: Creation date and time.
Modified: Date and time of last modification.
PDs: Indicates whether the memo is used as the data source for one
or more PDs. A dash indicates that it is not used as a PD.

56 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Working with ATLAS.ti

This section describes how to start and end an ATLAS.ti session,


how to create and save a project (a Hermeneutic Unit, in ATLAS.ti
terminology), how to assign and load primary documents, and how
to navigate within Primary Documents (PDs).

Note: Make sure to check out the Project Management section


before starting any serious projects. You can save yourself a lot of
time and trouble by following a set of simple rules for proper
planning, storing, and moving your ATLAS.ti project files. See
“Project Management” on page 267 for details.

Starting and Ending an ATLAS.ti Session

Starting ATLAS.ti
ATLAS.ti can be started like many other Windows applications,
e.g., via the Windows Start menu or by clicking on projects or
program shortcuts:

Select ATLAS.ti from the Programs menu: START


BUTTON/PROGRAMS/SCIENTIFIC SOFTWARE.

Double-click on the program's shortcut on the desktop (if you have


created one).

Double-click on an existing Hermeneutic Unit (HU) in the


Windows Explorer. You can create a fresh HU via a folder’s
context menu’s NEW/HERMENEUTIC UNIT entry.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 57


The wizard is not If you started ATLAS.ti directly (not by selecting a project), you
displayed if you select will see the ATLAS.ti Welcome "Wizard" (see Figure 18), which
an existing project to offers four options to start a session.
start the session.
Open Hermeneutic Unit from Picklist: If you choose this option,
you can select from a list of recently used HUs. If this is the first
time you open ATLAS.ti, you are offered the sample projects.
Open last used Hermeneutic Unit loads the most recently used
HU.
In order to start a new project, select the option Create a new
Hermeneutic Unit.
Click on Just continue, if you want to close the wizard and return
to the HU Editor.

Figure 18 – The Welcome Wizard

Select one of the four options and click OK.

Note: If you do not choose anything from the "Wizard," it will


time out and close automatically after a minute. You can always
get it back by choosing OPEN WELCOMEWIZ from the HU Editor's
HELP menu.

Logging In
By default (i.e., when first opening the program), you are
automatically logged in as “Super.” ATLAS.ti associates the user
currently logged in with all objects (like codes, quotations, memos,
etc.) created during a session. If you keep the default settings, all
objects are ‘stamped’ with the user name “Super.”
We recommend that you create your own user account
Create your own (EXTRAS/USER EDITOR), so that all objects are ‘stamped’ with your
user account! real name. If you are the only person working on a project or are
responsible for a team, do not forget to assign administrative

58 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


permissions to yourself. Then login under EXTRAS/LOGIN and
deactivate the option Automatic Login. This way, you are prompted
to login every time you start a session. For further information
consult the section “User Management” on page 262.

Ending your ATLAS.ti Session


When you have finished working, select FILE/QUIT from the HU
editor’s main menu to close the session.

Creating, Opening and Saving a Hermeneutic Unit

Creating a Hermeneutic Unit


For more detail on how to best set up a project see “Project
Management” on page 267.
When you start ATLAS.ti and a recently used HU is not loaded,
you will see “New Hermeneutic Unit” in the caption of the HU
Editor. You can start working right away on this new HU.
Alternatively, you can choose NEW HERMENEUTIC UNIT from the
File menu to open a new HU.
To provide a name for your HU, save it to disk:
1. Choose FILE/SAVE AS from the main menu, which opens a
standard file dialog.
2. Browse to the desired folder and enter the name for your HU.
3. Click SAVE.

Write a comment Recommendation: Make it a habit to write a short comment for any
for your HU. You and new HU. Describe the project’s goals and intentions. HU
your team members comments are displayed in the HU Browser and in HTML and
will benefit from this XML output. HU comments are also displayed when reviewing file
useful information. properties with Windows Explorer. To write an HU comment, click
on the comment button in the main toolbar.

Opening a Hermeneutic Unit


The Welcome Wizard opens upon start-up unless you have
checked the option in General Preferences to always load the last
used HU or checked the box in the Welcome Wizard next to
“Don’t display this screen again.” The Wizard offers options to
work with a recently used HU, create a new one, etc.

Note: No special actions are needed to load an HU created with


version 4.2 of ATLAS.ti into ATLAS.ti 5. Old HUs are
automatically converted to the new format.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 59


To open a Hermeneutic Unit using the standard
Windows file dialog
1. From the ATLAS.ti main menu
select FILE/OPEN (shortcut: Ctrl-O)
2. The Open Hermeneutic Unit
file dialog appears. The default folder for ATLAS.ti projects is
the "Textbank" directory, which is assumed to be your main
repository for HUs and PDs.
3. Select a HU and click OPEN.

To open a Hermeneutic Unit using the HU Browser


The HU Browser is an alternative to the standard file dialog. It
offers the list of most recently used HUs. This list is also offered at
the end of the File menu. To open the HU Browser:
1. Choose FILE/BROWSE... from the main menu.
2. Select a HU and click Load HU.
3. The HU will be loaded in a new HU Editor.

Figure 19 - The HU Browser and info pane

The browser displays some information about the selected HU,


e.g., its location, date of creation, (co-) authors, number of assigned
PDs, quotations, codes, and its comment.
If needed, you can launch the standard file dialog from within the
HU Browser by clicking the BROWSE DISK button.
If you want to clean up the list of recently used HUs, click the
REMOVE button. This action deletes the list entry, not the HU itself.
The HU browser can Although the standard file dialog is generally more flexible, the
display files from HUs HU browser's capability of displaying files from different locations
that are in different in one list is often quite convenient. However, if you only want to

60 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


disk locations. “open,” you can simply choose from the list of most recently used
HUs available in the FILE menu.

To open a recently used Hermeneutic Unit


1. Open the File menu.
2. Select an HU from the list below the menu option “quit.” The
list might be empty if no HU was ever used before.

To open the most recently used Hermeneutic Unit at


start-up
When starting ATLAS.ti, the last used HU can be loaded
automatically. This start-up method can be selected under
EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/HU EDITOR (see General Preferences
“Section: HU-Editor” on page 336).

To open a Hermeneutic Unit using Drag & Drop


You can drag files from Windows Explorer or the desktop:

From Windows Explorer, your desktop, or any other folder


containing HU files, drag an HU onto the HU Editor’s main pane
or caption.

Saving a Hermeneutic Unit


If you haven’t saved your work already, you will be asked to save
the HU when you close the HU Editor. If you leave ATLAS.ti
without saving, your work during the last session is lost.
To save the currently open HU:
1. Select FILE/SAVE AS from the main menu. The file dialog
opens:

Figure 20 - Save Hermeneutic Unit dialog window

2. Select a folder and enter a name for your HU.


A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 61
3. Click on the SAVE button. The extension .HPR5 is
automatically appended to the filename.

Pending Changes
Pending changes are changes in open memo or comment text
editors (unless you have saved the text) and in network editors with
modified layout that has not yet been saved. If you are currently
editing a PD’s data source, this would also count as a pending
change. If any pending changes are detected when you are about to
close or save the HU, you will be offered the choice to accept or
discard such changes. By accepting the changes, they become part
of the HU and are then saved to disk along with all other changes
in the HU.

Figure 21 Pending changes detcted - click Details opens the dialog below

The extended dialog below lists all pending changes and allows
control over which pending changes are to be committed.

Figure 22 Lists all objects with pending changes

Before taking any further action you can inspect any pending
changes in their respective editors simply by double-clicking an
item in the list.

Backup Copies
You can set preferences so that ATLAS.ti creates a backup copy of
an existing HU before overwriting it on save (EXTRAS/GENERAL

62 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


PREFERENCES/STORAGE). Backup files can be distinguished from
their original by a name prefix: For file “Sample.hpr5” a backup
file “backup of Sample.hpr5” would be created.

Crash Recovery: Automatic Backup


As “backup of ..” files are only created from the previous HU when
saving the current HU, this functionality would not protect you
Keep both the from losing the work you completed since the last save in the event
regular backup and the of abnormal termination of the program, e.g., caused by system
automatic recovery crashes or power failures.
backup on!
For such situations, an automatic periodic backup feature is
provided that will store recovery information every 10 minutes (or
a period of time you can set via EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES).
Should ATLAS.ti or Windows crash or in any other way be
terminated irregularly (e.g., a power failure), the amount of work
lost is only the work conducted since the last recovery backup (or
regular save). When exiting ATLAS.ti or after saving the HU, the
recovery backup file is removed automatically. It is strongly
recommended to keep this feature on.

Note: When you experience long delays at the scheduled times


when working with large HUs, increase the period, instead of
turning this option off.

When you restart ATLAS.ti after a crash, it will ask you if you
want to load a recovery backup of your HU if this backup is indeed
newer than the one you last saved.

Note: Any pending changes in open text or Network Editors are


not saved by the recovery backup feature. Saving such changes
from time to time will preserve these changes.

See General Preferences “Section: Storage” on page 339.

Assigning Primary Documents


“Assigning PDs” is indeed a sloppy term, and we left it as is
mainly for historical reasons. A more accurate name would be
“Create PD” or “Assign as PD” or “Assign Data Source”.
Indeed, whenever you do a “DOCUMENTS/ASSIGN”, a new Primary
Document, which is an ATLAS.ti internal object, is created, e.g.,
(“P 1”) and the “data source” (e.g., file text_1.rtf) is associated with
this PD at the same time. This distinction between a PD and the
A PD refers to a data actual data source (a file-based document or a memo) is explained
source (e.g., a file) in more detail in “How ATLAS.ti Handles Documents” on page
91).

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 63


More than one data source can be assigned as a PD at the same
time (e.g., by selecting multiple files in the file dialog), but there is
no need to assign all documents at one time. You can assign more
files during the course of the analytical process.
Bulk-assigned files are listed in alphabetically order. For every PD
created during assignment, an ID is created consisting of a prefix
“P” and a consecutive number. In addition, the name of the data
source (file name) is appended to the ID. This name can be
changed later for display purposes.
By default, all files assigned as PDs are referenced in the most
effective way. (see “How ATLAS.ti Handles Documents” on page
91).

One Data Source – Many PDs


If you plan to analyze a single document source from several
different perspectives, there is no need to create physical copies of
the document and assign each of the copies as a PD to the HU. A
single data source can be assigned more than once, which creates
as many PDs, each with its own number and name, but they all
refer to the same data source.

Figure 23 The two PDs P 2 and P 3 share one data source (text_2.rtf)

64 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


This “one source - multiple PDs” principle is not restricted to one
HU. A data source can be assigned as a PD (or many PDs) in more
than one HU. This is usually the case in team scenarios. Each PD,
however, refers to exactly one data source.

Figure 24 Two PDs from different HUs share a common data source

Primary Documents P 4 and P 5 in the figure below refer to the


same file:

Figure 25- Five PDs created from four documents! Two documents from the HU’s folder,
one from the textbank folder, and one assigned twice from an arbitrary path.

Assigning Documents via the File Dialog


To assign files:
1. Choose DOCUMENTS/ASSIGN from the main menu. The file
dialog box opens by default on the “textbank” folder. If you
have already assigned files during this session, the most
recently used folder is opened.
2. By default, all file types that are permitted to be assigned as
PDs are offered. By selecting from the filter drop-down, you

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 65


can restrict the type of documents.

3. Browse and select one or more data source files to be


assigned to the HU and click the Open button.
The selected files are assigned as PDs.

Assigning Documents using Drag & Drop


Assigning documents via Drag & Drop may be more convenient
when you have different browsers opened on different folders.

To assign documents via drag & drop:


1. Open Windows File Explorer. (e.g., by selecting
EXTRAS/EXPLORER from the main menu)
2. Select the folder from where you want to assign files.
3. Select one or more files.
4. Drag the selected files into the document drop-down list or
into the Document Manager.
5. A single file can directly be dragged into the main PD area. In
addition to being assigned, it is immediately displayed.
You may also drag & drop subfolders. This essentially assigns all
Complete folders files stored in the subfolders and any subfolders below. Documents
can be assigned in one not compatible with ATLAS.ti are rejected.
step
You can imagine that this operation can assign an unexpected
number of files to your HU. Make sure you know what is in the
folders.
Don’t assign
incompatible files via Note: You can drag arbitrary files (as opposed to the standard
drag & drop. assign technique that filters the files offered), but you are
responsible for only assigning valid file types. When ATLAS.ti
detects a file extension that does not correspond to one of the file
formats specified in the Assign File Dialog, you are asked for
confirmation. Remember, a file with unknown type is always
assigned as a plain text document. If it does not contain text , you
will see a lot of garbage when it is displayed.

66 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Assign Memos as Primary Documents
You can also use memos as PDs.
For more detail, see “Using Memos as PDs” on page 131. This
procedure is only recommended for small to medium size projects
without the need to share the documents (for details see “Scenario
4: All Inclusive” on page 277).

Using a PD-Family Table to Assign Documents


This method allows bulk assignment of documents while importing
document properties (i.e., families) at the same time.
1. Prepare a PD-Family Table, for instance in Excel™ (see
“Preparing and Importing a PD-Family Table” on page 198
for details). A table can also be created by using Export PD-
Family Table in ATLAS.ti.
2. Import the PD-Family table by selecting the menu option:
DOCUMENTS/MISCELLANEOUS/IMPORT PD-FAMILY TABLE.
3. Select the appropriate file and the field delimiter (separates
the field names and field values in tables when stored as a
text file) that was used when the table was created.
The result should show new or modified families. PDs in the table
that did not exist before are imported. Existing PDs become
members of imported or existing families.

Rearranging PDs
The ID of a PD determines its position in the list of PDs when in
default sort order. Furthermore, it is essential that PDs in HUs to be
merged (see “Merging Hermeneutic Units” on page 286) have
matching IDs.
To rearrange PDs (to change their IDs), use one of the following
options:
• Rearrange a selected PD only.
• Rearrange one or more PDs using drag & drop.
• Renumber all PDs to make the current sort permanent while
eliminating gaps in the numbering at the same time.
Of course, all quotations belonging to a repositioned PD are taken
along.

Rearranging a Selected Primary Document


1. Select the PD in the Document Manager whose list position
should be changed.
2. Choose DOCUMENTS/MISCELLANEOUS/CHANGE POSITION from the
main menu.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 67


3. Enter a position number after which the selected document is
to be moved.

Rearranging Primary Documents Using Drag & Drop


Rearranging PDs via drag & drop is a convenient alternative and
lets you rearrange a number of selected PDs concurrently.
1. Open the Document Manager.
2. Select the PDs.
3. Start to drag the PDs.
4. A dashed bar appears at the current list insertion point.
5. Drop the PDs when you reach the desired location for the
documents.
Note: Set the sort criterion to ID for an optimal feedback of the
renumbering procedure.

Renumbering all Primary Documents


Select DOCUMENTS/MISCELLANEOUS/RENUMBER ALL from the main
menu.
This option becomes useful after you disconnect several documents
from a HU. When disconnecting PDs from an HU, previously
assigned IDs (e.g. "P 1") are not "released." This results in gaps in
the sequence of PD numbers. You may remove these gaps by
renumbering all PDs in the HU using the Renumber All feature.

Note: It is not necessary to renumber PDs in ATLAS.ti. Doing so


can give reports a cleaner appearance. However, if you plan to
merge HUs, it is essential that PDs have matching IDs.

68 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Primary Documents

Primary Documents (PDs) play a major role in ATLAS.ti’s


framework. They are the interface between a Hermeneutic Unit
(HU) and the data. They provide access to data sources, which are
usually files stored on the disks of your computer or network. This
chapter outlines the steps needed to create, select, and prepare
documents so that they will be suitable to use in ATLAS.ti. You
will learn how to use PDs, how to consistently edit the content of
documents, and how to move projects without losing connections
to associated files.

Preparing Documents
This section explains how to properly create, prepare, and modify
materials to be used as PDs. Although such preparation is not
mandatory and is often not feasible, when possible it is preferable
to adopt useful conventions.
The specific characteristics of the different content media types
(text, graphic, audio, and video) are discussed in this chapter.

Supported Formats
In principle, most textual, graphical, and multimedia formats are
supported by ATLAS.ti. For some formats, their suitability
depends on the state of your Windows system, particularly in
regard to what other software is already installed. Before deciding
to use an exotic data format, you should check if this format is
available and if it is sufficiently supported by your Windows
system.
For a list of formats that are currently supported as primary
documents choose “Assign” from the documents drop down menu
and click the File Type drop-down list that appears at the bottom of
the window (see “Assigning Documents via the File Dialog” on
page 65). Only the formats listed in the drop-down list are
supported by ATLAS.ti. To ensure that files are compatible with
your system, assign a few of your documents as PDs. They should
loaded and display (or play, when the source is multimedia)
correctly.
Files that might prove problematic are multimedia files using
exotic “codecs” (software that enables playing of a certain
multimedia file format on your computer) and files that rely on

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 69


RTF converters. If a file is listed but cannot be loaded, see
“Primary Document Cannot be Loaded” page 327.

Size Restrictions
Theoretically, size restrictions do not play a major role due to the
way ATLAS.ti handles PDs (see “How ATLAS.ti Handles
Documents” on page 91). However, you should bear in mind that
your computer's processing speed and storage capacity affect the
performance. Excessively large documents can be uncomfortable to
work with, even when you have an excellently equipped computer.
The crucial issue is not always the file size, but rather, in the case
of multimedia files, the length of playing time. For textual
documents, the number and size of embedded objects may cause
extraordinarily long load times. There is a high likelihood that if a
textual document loads slowly in ATLAS.ti, it would also load
slowly in WORD or Wordpad.
For very long texts or multimedia files, navigation can be severely
Make data handicapped, e.g., scrolling to exact positions.
sources as small as
We recommend making data sources as small as possible but as
possible but as large as
large as necessary without breaking passages that belong together.
necessary.
Even with many smaller PDs, ATLAS.ti supports unified
processing and fast navigation.

Preparing Textual Documents


Supported Formats
ATLAS.ti 5 principally handles documents in plain and Rich Text
Format (RTF). See also “Character Encoding for Textual
Documents” on page 395 for additional information.

Rich Text – A Definition


RTF (Rich Text Format) is a proprietary text data format developed
Rich Text supports and propagated by Microsoft, and intended as an industry standard
character- and for exchanging documents between different applications. It
paragraph-related supports such extensions as character formatting (bold, italic, color,
formatting. Data from etc.) with different fonts and sizes, paragraph formatting (bullets,
other applications can indentation, alignment, etc.), embedded objects (graphics, tables,
be embedded. video, etc). and more.
All textual documents are displayed on the basis of Rich Text
within ATLAS.ti.

Word, HTML and Other File Formats


For your convenience we also support the inclusion of documents
Word™ that are not RTF, e.g., several Office document formats, HTML,
documents can be used etc. To be able to utilize such documents without having to convert
directly. However, not them to RTF, ATLAS.ti uses converters installed on your system
all features are (as part of the basic Windows or Office installation) A similar

70 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


preserved. In addition, approach is also used by WordPad™ to display Word and other
automatically documents.
converted documents However, no miracles should be expected from a conversion into
cannot be edited. RTF. The success of the conversion heavily depends on the
characteristics of the converter used. Bear in mind that the quality
of such conversions usually does not reach the richness in
appearance and procedures of the original (Word, etc.) documents
(e.g., multiple lines in tables from a Word document are not
displayed identically within ATLAS.ti).

Plain Text
Plain text documents – Of course, plain (unformatted) text documents can still be used,
including Unicode – including documents using Unicode. In the course of editing plain
can still be used. text documents within ATLAS.ti, they can be “enriched” and saved
with all added formatting.
Store documents To be able to edit textual PDs later, they need to be stored as plain
in RTF when you want text or rich text files in the first place. In the present version of
to edit them later. ATLAS.ti, editing is restricted to RTF files because of the potential
loss of formatting information. If you want to edit documents
originating from Word, WordPerfect, etc., they need to be
converted to rich text from within their original application before
assigning them to an HU.
Saving documents as rich text is a standard feature that can be
found in most word processing programs. In Word, for instance,
this is an option that can be selected in the data type field when
saving documents under a different name ("Save as"). We
recommend storing documents as rich text right away even if they
are currently “plain text” and do not contain any formatting.

Handling Legacy Documents


Applications that do not offer dynamic wrapping depend on text
data wherein every line is delimited with a hard return at the end of
every line. This was also the case in previous versions of
ATLAS.ti. However, in order to have something like a
“paragraph,” an artificial and proprietary delimiter was needed.
Usually, hard returns are used as paragraph delimiters, but in
ATLAS.ti 4.2 this was already used for line feeds. ATLAS.ti 4.2
treated a double hard return (in other words: an empty line) as the
end of a paragraph. All texts making use of paragraphs (e.g., for
semi-automatic selection and auto-coding) needed to be formatted
in this “old paragraph model.”
Now, ATLAS.ti uses dynamic wrapping and allows textual
documents to be formatted with hard returns only appearing as
paragraph delimiters. The “old paragraph model” has become
obsolete. You may now wonder what will happen with the
“legacy” documents from previous versions of ATLAS.ti.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 71


To utilize those documents formatted and used in previous versions
of ATLAS.ti, users can either: convert documents to the “new
paragraph model” (see “Converting Documents to New Paragraph
Model” on page 89) or leave them “as is” as long as you can live
without the neat line breaks.
If you have a lot of documents formatted using the old paragraph
model and you do not have the time to convert them to properly
formatted texts, you may still assign them to a HU “as is.”
However, unlike PDs in old HUs, it is assumed that newly assigned
documents use the standard “new paragraph model.”
The effect is that each line is treated as a paragraph and empty lines
For newly are not treated in any special way. This diminishes the options to
assigned legacy select, search and auto-code these documents. For such a situation
documents activate you may force the legacy document to be interpreted the “old” way
“old paragraph” by setting the properties to “old paragraph model” using
handling DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT/ASSUME OLD PARAGRAPH
MODEL.

Preparing Graphical Documents


A variety of graphic formats can be used as PDs in ATLAS.ti.

Supported Formats
More than twenty graphic file formats are accepted by ATLAS.ti as
valid data sources for PDs, including BMP, JPEG, and TIFF.
Scanners often produce TIFF and digital cameras usually create
JPEG images.

Size recommendations
Digital cameras and scanners often create images with a resolution
that significantly exceeds the screen’s resolution. When preparing a
graphic file for use with ATLAS.ti, use image-processing software
to reduce the size so that the graphics are comfortably displayed on
your computer’s screen. If an image does not fit into the primary
pane, you may need to use the zoom function available via the
mouse wheel or the zoom button when displaying the image using
ATLAS.ti.

Preparing Multimedia Documents


Supported Formats
ATLAS.ti’s multimedia capabilities are built upon the Windows
Media Control Interface (MCI). To be able to access multimedia
files from ATLAS.ti, the corresponding MCI device drivers must
be installed. If you assign PDs and the file dialog does not offer
any of the expected file formats, you may have to install the
drivers. While drivers for AVI and WAV files are installed in any
basic Windows system (or at least when installing a sound

72 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


adapter), formats like MOV, QT, AU, SND, MPG, and MP3 may
require a dedicated driver.
Check the Multimedia section in EXTRAS/SYSTEM REPORT for a
complete list of supported media types.

Test Multimedia File Compatibility


There is a simple test to check if a document is compatible with
Test MCI ATLAS.ti’s multimedia approach:
compatibility of your
Run Windows MCI-based multimedia player. Go to the START
multimedia data.
menu in the Windows taskbar and choose RUN. Enter MPLAY32
and hit “OK.” From within this window, open the multimedia file
you wish to use with ATLAS.ti. If this does not work, there are
problems with processing multimedia files via MCI.

Length Recommendations
Multimedia file size does not pose a problem for ATLAS.ti.
Megabyte audio and Gigabyte video files can be assigned and
analyzed. However, certain issues should be considered regarding
the length (duration) of a multimedia clip.
When creating multimedia quotations, the start and end points are
often selected using the mouse and the track bar of the media tool
(see “Navigating Multimedia and Selecting Segments” on page
107). The length of the track bar resembles the length of the
multimedia clip. The track bar can only be as wide as your
computer screen, whether your audio file is 30 seconds or two
hours long. Therefore, when using very long clips as PDs, it might
be difficult to mark quotations of short duration.
In addition to the mouse and track bar, the media tool buttons and
the arrow keys can be used. However, the resolution is dependent
on the overall size of the clip. For instance, a 15-minute audio file
allows a resolution of 0.1 seconds, while the resolution for a two-
hour audio clip is 1 second. If you need fine-grained resolution
when creating quotations, chop a big file into smaller clips.

Note: The resolution of multimedia documents also depends on


the compression scheme (“codec”) used when creating the
multimedia output. Higher compression results in smaller file sizes
but often in less precision, so marking a specific period or sequence
of frames becomes problematic.

Audio Documents
ATLAS.ti supports most common audio formats (like WAV, MP3,
WMA, SND, etc.) unless appropriate MCI drivers are not installed.

Audio Files and Transcriptions


Can an audio source and a transcription be synchronized?

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 73


Currently it is not possible to listen to the audio file and see the
transcribed text scrolled in sync or vice versa. There is no
automatic link between the two. Both the original audio material
and the transcription need to be assigned as two separate PDs.
However, you can manually link chunks of text to the
corresponding audio segments using the ATLAS.ti hypertext
function (see “Hypertext” on page 249).
Furthermore, an audio or video quotation’s comment is a
Put transcripts convenient and accessible place for the transcription. When
into quotation double-clicking a multimedia quotation in the Quotation Manager,
comments. the transcript is displayed in the comment pane.

Video Documents
ATLAS.ti supports several common video formats (like AVI,
MPG, WMV, MOV, etc.). As with audio files, the necessary MCI
drivers need to be installed.
When creating video documents to be used with ATLAS.ti, the
above-mentioned issue of compression should be taken into
account. While uncompressed video data allows a fine-grained
frame-level navigation, compressed formats may counteract any
attempt to select specific frames. You will need to experiment with
these issues.

Loading and Navigating Primary Documents

Loading Primary Documents


Whenever the content of a PD needs to be displayed, printed, or
searched, it accesses its data source (file, memo) and loads the
content. This request is often triggered indirectly, e.g., by
displaying (or printing) a quotation. For performance reasons,
documents are only loaded once; they are “cached” unless this
option is turned off.
The following lists a few procedures that directly or indirectly load
the content of a PD:
• Activating it in the document drop-down list or the PD
Manager.
• Activating a quotation in the quotation drop-down list or the
Quotation Manager.
• Selecting a quotation for an activated (double-clicked) code or
memo.
• Activating a hyperlink in the margin area.
• Using the LOAD option from the context menu of a PD node in
a Network Editor.

74 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


To load a PD using the drop-down list
1. Click on the PD drop-down list.
2. Select a PD by clicking on an
entry in the list. The selected PD is displayed in the PD pane.
If the list does not display all PDs assigned, the scrollbar lets
you navigate the list of entries.

To load a PD using the PD Manager


1. Open the PD Manager by
clicking the button to the left of the PD drop-down list.
2. Double-click an entry in the PD
Manager to load and display the PD.

Content Caching
By default, the content of PDs is “cached,” (i.e., kept in memory)
unless this option has been switched off in GENERAL PREFERENCES.
The benefit of caching is that the time a document requires to be
ready for use is greatly reduced whenever its content is accessed
more than once (e.g., when auto-coding text passages). The
drawback of caching is that a larger amount of internal memory is
needed when loading many large documents, which might in turn
create performance issues on systems with insufficient memory.
Caching can be turned off completely, but you can also empty the
cache periodically by choosing menu option DOCUMENTS/DATA
SOURCE MANAGEMENT/CLEAR CACHE.

Note: With caching turned off, repetitive operations like auto-


coding will be significantly slowed down.

Navigating within Primary Documents


The available navigation options depend on the media type of the
selected PD.

Navigating within Textual Primary Documents


Textual PDs allow for a variety of options to display different parts
of the text:
• You can scroll up and down using the mouse wheel.
• The arrow keys and other navigational keys can be used to
move through the text.
• Jump to specific line/paragraph numbers using the GO-TO-LINE
button to the left of the PD pane.

Navigating within Graphical Primary Documents


To change the visible section of a graphical PD:
• Use the scrollbars.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 75


• You can scroll up and down using the mouse wheel.
• The cursor arrows and other navigational keys can be used.

Note: When you click on the upper left corner of a graphical PD,
its comment is displayed in a pop-up window.

Navigating within Multimedia Primary Documents


Display selected parts of audio or video documents by moving the
track bar slider. Do this by clicking the navigation button of the
media control window, or by using short-cut keys (see “Navigating
Multimedia and Selecting Segments” on page 107).

Disconnecting Primary Documents


Removing unwanted PDs from an HU is called “disconnecting.”
If you disconnect a PD, the data source (the document file or
memo) to which it refers is not deleted or otherwise affected, but
disconnecting a PD does remove all of its quotations from the HU.
As a consequence, all references to other quotations (hyperlinks),
other codes, and memos are also removed.

Disconnecting a Primary Document


1. Select the PD to be removed from the HU.
2. Choose DOCUMENTS/DISCONNECT from the main menu. If you
select a PD in the Document Manager, right click on the
document and choose DISCONNECT from the context menu.

Editing Primary Documents


ATLAS.ti 5.0 introduces the ability to edit textual PDs after they
have been assigned and possibly coded. What sounds trivial was
maybe the most challenging issue in the development of version 5.

Objectives
PDs are often shared One of the core ideas of ATLAS.ti is that PDs are shared and part
among different projects of an archive. As you already know, all quotations, codes, and
and/or researchers. A memos are actually not parts of PDs, but are "transparent layers"
single file can be in use that are stored within the HU. Because of this, editing is blocked
by more than one by default when you view a PD in ATLAS.ti.
project.
However, it may be necessary to edit the content of a PD.. For
instance, transcribed texts are often loaded with typos and other
writing errors. Documents might not be complete and text may
need to be added after they were assigned.
Edit mode needs to be intentionally switched on for textual PDs.
Click the pencil to
This section introduces available editing options and the issues to
enter edit mode.
be considered when editing PDs.

76 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Two versions of a coded text are shown in the figure below: one
version before and one version after an editing session. The added
text is colored blue.

Figure 26 – Text before editing

Figure 27 – Text after adding text. A piece of coded text was pasted.

A powerful change Added text included a hard return, which resulted in a new
maintenance system paragraph. As a consequence, all quotations that referenced
records all changes during paragraph 4 and beyond needed to be updated to take into
an edit session in order to account their new position. The quotation starting at paragraph 4
inform other projects to (before the editing procedure) and its associated code (A5
update their quotations. feature) have shifted to paragraph 5.
A word of caution is in order. Even though a number of safeguards
are built into the software to prevent misaligned codes or other
nuisances after an editing session, it is still a good idea to know
how ATLAS.ti handles edited PDs and to give some thought to the
question of how to manage all documents related to an ATLAS.ti
project (see also “Project Management” on page 267).
Therefore, the objective of this section is to inform you about the
dos and don’ts of editing PDs.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 77


Entering and Leaving Edit Mode
Note: Editing is only possible when logged into ATLAS.ti as an
ATLAS.ti user with administrative rights! (See “User
Management” on page 262 for further information).

Entering Edit Mode


1. Load a rich text or plain text
PD.

2. Click on the Edit button


in the main toolbar, or select EDIT/DOCUMENT ACCESS/ENTER
EDIT MODE from the main menu. A message will pop up
telling you that automatic backup is disabled during the edit
session.

If a non-editable document (e.g., a Word or HTML document) is


loaded, the editing toolbar is not available. To be able to edit such
Auto-converted documents, you need to create a Rich Text or plain text copy using
documents (Word, your word processor and assign this file as a PD.
HTML) cannot be
edited.

Leaving Edit Mode


1. Click on the down arrow next to the Edit button or select
EDIT/DOCUMENT ACCESS from the main menu and
2. choose the SAVE AND LEAVE EDIT MODE or the DISCARD
CHANGES AND LEAVE EDIT MODE option from the submenu:
If nothing was changed,
clicking the edit button will
close the edit session and
not display the drop-down
menu.
If you choose SAVE ONLY, all modifications are saved and you can
continue to edit the document.
If you choose DISCARD CHANGES, the recent modifications are
dropped and the document is reverted to its last saved state, i.e. the
way it was before you issued the last SAVE ONLY, or before the
session if you never did an intermediary save.

Note: As there is no Undo function for document editing


activities, make it a habit to select SAVE ONLY once in a while
during the edit session. If you use SAVE ONLY and then make
changes, you can elect to DISCARD CHANGES ONLY to eliminate
changes since your last save or, in effect, revert to the last saved
version.

78 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Saving Edited Primary Documents
If you leave the edit session without saving the edited PD, the
changes will be discarded. This includes all changes to the HU
Changes to the caused by the editing session, e.g., quotations deleted, copied, or
document need to be moved by deleting, copying, or moving text. If you do not save, the
explicitly saved when text will revert to the state before the last edit session or when the
leaving the edit session. document was last saved.
Leaving ATLAS.ti without saving the HU after having edited and
saved a document is not a problem as far as data integrity (e.g.,
misaligned quotations) is concerned. Editing-related changes to the
HU (quotations deleted, copied, or moved by deleting, copying or
moving text) are not lost. Of course, all other HU-related changes
(new or removed quotations, codes, memos) are lost when leaving
a session without saving the HU. When you reload this HU the
next time it will be synchronized with the PD’s modified data
source contents automatically.
To save a PD after editing, click the Edit button and select either
SAVE AND LEAVE EDIT MODE or SAVE ONLY from the drop-down
menu.

Enriching A Plain Text Document


If you have edited a plain text document and added formatting
attributes like fonts, color, font size, bold, italic, embedded objects,
etc., you are asked if you want to keep the formatting information
and save the document as a rich text (rtf) document:

If you select No, any features contained in the document beyond


plain text will be lost. If you want to keep the rich formatting, you
Saving a former need to confirm the message.
plain text with
formatting does not If you select Yes, the file will be saved in rich text format although
change the file the file extension (e.g., TXT) is not changed to RTF.
extension.

The Edit Toolbar


The Edit toolbar provides a number of options known from other
Windows applications. Many of these options are also available
from the Edit menu .

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 79


Underline Cut/copy/paste
Italic
Bullet Style
Bold
Enter Edit Mode Allignment: left/center/right

Shrink/Enlarge Font
Set Font Color
Highlight Selected Text

The options in the edit menu are described in “The Edit Menu” on
page 346.

Embedded Objects
What is an Embedded Object?
Data from a variety of applications like Word, Excel, and
PowerPoint can be embedded within a PD’s data source. In fact,
objects can be embedded in any rich text available in an HU
including memos and comments. By the way, some of the images
in this manual were also included as embedded objects.

In-Place Activation & Editing


Embedded objects can be edited (like an Excel™ table) or “played”
(a video clip) without leaving the HU. Depending on the object's
features, the toolbars and menus of the original application can be
directly accessed within the ATLAS.ti windows. For example, if
you insert an Excel table as an embedded object and double-click
on it, the ATLAS.ti main menu and toolbar are replaced by the
Excel menu and toolbar. All Excel functions can be used to modify
and work on the embedded table. This is called In-place-activation
or editing.
If you don’t have Excel on your computer, all you will see is the
image of the table, but it will not be activated.

Note: When activating an embedded object, it might not open “in-


place” but within its original application in a separate window.
This behavior depends on the embedded object and is outside the
control of ATLAS.ti.

80 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


An activated embedded
Excel table showing
the menu and toolbar
within ATLAS.ti

Figure 28 – An activated embedded Excel table. Its menu and


toolbar are integrated within the HU Editor

How to Embed an Object


There are several ways to embed an object.

Embed an Object via Copy and Paste Special


You can copy a table (or a portion of it) in Excel. In ATLAS.ti
(enter edit mode within the PD area or in the memo or comment
area) choose PASTE SPECIAL and select the Excel object. The list of
formats available in the PASTE SPECIAL dialog may also contain
other non-object formats.

Embed an Object via Insert Object


Enter edit mode and select EDIT/INSERT/INSERT OBJECT from the
main menu.
The Insert Object dialog opens and offers all object types installed
on your computer. If you don’t have Excel installed, you will not
be offered an Excel object. Not all of the objects listed in the dialog
make sense inside a PD.
You can create a new
object or insert an existing
object from a file. An
explanation for the selected
object type is displayed at
the bottom of the dialog.

Figure 29 - The Insert Object Dialog

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 81


Create a new object: To create a new object select the object type
and click OK. By default the option ‘Create new object’ is
activated.
Load an object from a file: Activate the option ‘Create from file’
in the Insert Object dialog. Click OK and browse for the file to be
inserted. If the file’s content is not an embeddable object, an icon
representation is inserted and displayed instead.

Note: Inserting an object from a file is not the same as


INSERT/INSERT FILE, which appends the usually textual contents of a
file at the cursor position.

If you choose to link the object, it will also be inserted, but with a
significant difference:
Linked objects: A linked object keeps a reference to the original
file. When you edit the original Excel table, the changes will be
written to the Excel file and will be updated in ALL documents
where this object was embedded. Because of this, in-place
activation is not available and the original application is launched
when double-clicking the object.
An object inserted without checking the link option is fully
embedded and has no reference to the file from which it originated.
Editing this object will only modify this copy of the object.

One Object = One Character


Every object is treated as a single character when it comes to
selecting and coding it in ATLAS.ti.

Note: You cannot “enter” an object in order to select and code


parts of it (e.g., a single cell inside an Excel™ spreadsheet or a
graphic inside a PowerPoint™ slide).

However, for some objects, selecting a more suitable format from


the list presented by Paste Special (see also “Embed an Object via
Copy and Paste Special” on page 81) may be the solution. For
instance, an Excel table is also offered as Rich Text. It won’t look
as neat as the original Excel object and it cannot be activated but
you can select and code a single cell or several cells of the
spreadsheet.

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The same Excel table
selection pasted into a
document as Rich Text
(above) and as an Excel
object (below).
The margin shows several
codes for the Rich Text
version and only one code
for the object version
below.

Figure 30 – An Excel table inserted as Rich Text and as an embedded object

Editing Embedded Objects


To edit an embedded/linked object:
1. Enter Edit mode.
2. Double-click the object or right click on the object
3. Select <OBJECT NAME>-OBJECT/EDIT or <OBJECT NAME>-
OBJECT/OPEN from the context menu.

Idiosyncrasies
Objects can be Editing an embedded object is possible even when the embedding
activated and edited PD is not currently in edit mode. For example, you may want to
without the PD being play a video or recalculate a range of cells without making such
in edit mode. Such changes permanent. If you want to preserve the changes applied to
changes are not an object, however, you need to enter edit mode before editing the
permanent. object.
After deactivating an active object by clicking outside its border,
you might find that the object has reverted to its original size.
Resizing an object can only be done by grabbing its selection frame
at any resize handle except those located on the frame’s right
border. To get enough space to the left you might want to center or
right-align the object before resizing.

Inside Editing Primary Documents


While the following description is covered in other chapters (e.g.,
“How ATLAS.ti Handles Documents” on page 91), this issue is
helpful and important to your understanding of editing documents
in ATLAS.ti.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 83


One of the most powerful features of ATLAS.ti 5 is the possibility
Don’t be afraid of to edit PDs or more precisely: editing the contents of a PD or
editing! editing its data source.
Some might ask: why is editing a PD an issue at all? Isn't editing a
text a simple thing to implement?

Understanding the Primary Document/HU Relationship


ATLAS.ti 4.2 did not In ATLAS.ti 4.2, if you edited a document used within a HU (or
support editing within a number of HUs), you had to be very careful. All editing
documents. procedures that changed the text sequence in any way, unless done
“Referential integrity” at the very end of the document, had the potential of corrupting the
was endangered. alignment of quotations that referred to text passages.
Quotations are not much more than a set of coordinates that
remember the start and end positions of a text sequence (or a video
passage, an image area, etc.). Quotations are managed and stored
inside the HU. The actual PD on the disk "knows" nothing of the
references ATLAS.ti compiles about it.
No provisions (other than manual reselecting) existed in ATLAS.ti
4.2 that would enable the HU to update its quotation coordinates
after the document was edited. This was true for the HU that you
worked with when editing the document, and is especially true for
all other HUs that used that same document. Remember: ATLAS.ti
has a shared document approach that does not necessarily put
the documents to be analyzed into a special location, and, of
course, they never become integrated into the HU themselves.
What would be needed to be able to edit the content of a document
and to update the quotations so that they never lose their correct
alignment?
• We would need to record every change that has the capacity of
misaligning quotations (e.g., deleting/moving/inserting
characters, lines, paragraphs)
• We would need to make this "logbook of changes" accessible
to EVERY HU that uses this PD.
• In order not to get the above procedures mixed up, we would
also need to protect the document against editing by more than
one user at the same time.
This is what we accomplished with ATLAS.ti 5!
For understanding the editing procedures and their consequences, it
is helpful to make a few conceptual distinctions:
• An ATLAS.ti project consists of an HU and all referenced
"data sources" (mostly document files).
• A PD is NOT the data source! A PD that resides in an HU is
created when you assign a data source (a file, a memo) as a
PD.
A Primary Document is/has:

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• a NAME, which is used when it is displayed in the PD
manager. By default the name of the data source (the file name
or the memo title) is used
• an AUTHOR = the user who assigned this PD to the HU
• a CREATION DATE= date of assignment
• a collection of QUOTATIONS
• a REFERENCE (e.g., a file name and path) to its data source,
which is where it gets its content from whenever it needs to be
displayed.
The “Reference” is an important property to understand. ATLAS.ti
5 has a number of powerful functions and tools (see “Adjusting
References” on page 99) that keep this "loose" link alive under
varying circumstances.
When we refer to "editing a PD," we indeed mean "editing the data
source" or "editing the contents of a PD."
Understanding the relationship between a PD and its data source is
important for addressing the most common FAQ, "Where are my
PDs?"
The special nature of this relationship explains why simply copying
the HU to another computer is not sufficient: a PD won't find its
data source unless you copied it as well.
It also explains why you should use Copy Bundle for "migrating" a
complete project (HU + data sources) to another computer.
In addition it explains why there can be more than one PD referring
to the same data source. HUs can be owned by you or different
team members as long as the files reside in a central location in the
network.

The Complexities of PD Editing


The above facts are true for version 4.2 as well as 5. What makes
this a delicate topic in ATLAS.ti 5 is that you now can safely edit
the content of a data source.
Who records the changes when you edit a data source to make sure
every PD in every HU can update its quotations? ATLAS.ti 5
watches every editing activity and stores every change in a
"companion" file, which is placed side-by-side with the edited
document. This file has the extension LOG. If your document is
interview1.rtf, this file will be named interview1.rtf.log.
Note: Once such a companion log file exists, you should NEVER
separate it from the original data source. Copying one without the
Don’t separate a other or deleting the log file will send the signal that "something is
document and its log wrong" and you won’t be able to access the document's contents.
file. Therefore, you should never use Windows Explorer to copy or
Set Window Explorer’s move a project. Instead use ATLAS.ti's "Copy Bundle" (see “Copy
option to display all Bundle - Migrate and Backup Projects” on page 279). It correctly
file extensions or you’ll "wraps" all necessary files into one neat package for you.
A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 85
be confused.
Look at it this way: after a document was first edited with
ATLAS.ti, the data source indeed now consists of TWO files--the
original document file and its "change log" companion.
What, then, is recorded in the log file? You won't see a single piece
of the document’s original text when you open it (carefully!) in a
text editor. It contains information of the type "paragraph 7531 was
moved to position 2341" or "text of length 732 has been inserted at
position 8766". These are the changes you have made to the PD.
When editing the data source of the PD, you can see the quotations
in the margin update instantaneously. As a matter of fact, this PD
would not really need the log file to know what is going on. But it
does need it if you finish editing the data source and then leave the
HU without saving it. All your nice modifications to the PD (e.g.,
its quotations) are lost! In this situation your PD is as dependent on
the recorded changes as is any other PD in any other HU using the
edited data source.

Synchronization
Next time you load this HU and click on the edited PD or a
quotation, as ATLAS loads the data source’s contents for display, it
will open the LOG file, analyze the recorded changes and will find
that the PD is not up-to-date. You will be offered the option of
synchronizing the PD. If at this point you say NO, it won't display
the contents. This is because the old version that the program
would expect is not available. If you click YES, ATLAS.ti will
open the LOG file and instantly update the affected PD (or PDs if
you have assigned the same data source more than once). Voilá:
All quotations will be in sync! You should save the HU this time or
you will be given the same option the next time you load the HU.

Synchronization on Demand
Instead of synchronizing PDs one at a time, you may want to
Synchronize all synchronize all or a selection of PDs at the same time. Choose
PDs at once. DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT/SYNCHRONIZE PDS from the
main menu. ATLAS.ti then searches for LOG files, analyzes them,
and asks you for confirmation if synchronization is necessary.

File Locking
Have you wondered about that weird LOK file (interview1.rt.lok)
that exists at one time and does not exist at other times?
This file is the "gatekeeper" that controls access to the data source.
LOK files protect Every user on every ATLAS.ti workstation accessing a data source
your documents from is registered in this LOK file. It also registers the name of the user,
accidental the name of the computer, and the time access was granted. None
modifications. of this information is stored forever; all user-related information is
removed when leaving the ATLAS.ti session.

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ATLAS.ti 5 allows more than one user accesses a data source at the
same time. However, when you switch into edit mode, it will either
inform you that user X is currently using the document, or it will
reject the editing attempt in case another user is already editing it
(“first come – first served”). If the other user forgot to exit edit
mode, left ATLAS.ti running, and went away on a long vacation,
you might be informed that "User X has been editing the file for 23
days." Well, either this is really the case, or a LOK file could not
be updated or removed because of a crash during an edit session. If
you happen to know that there really isn't anybody editing the
document, you can simply delete the LOK file to gain write access
to the document. Remember, though: do NOT delete the LOG file.
There is also a LOK file for the HU itself (e.g., myhu.hpr5.lok) to
The HU is also prevent concurrent editing of a HU. If an HU has an associated
protected against LOK file, it is currently in use by someone and can consequently
accidental concurrent only be opened in read-only mode.
editing.
If you are sure you are the only one using this HU and you have
not already loaded it in another window, you can treat this message
as a “false alarm” and delete this LOK file. LOK files are usually
updated or deleted when you stop using the protected file (HU or
PD data source), but occasionally you may not have time to allow
for proper closing of the file due to a system crash or power-
outage.

Figure 31 A PD refers to its data source and observes the LOG and LOK files

In a perfect world, you shouldn't have to know about this


mechanism. But it cannot hurt to have a certain understanding of
what goes on when things don't work smoothly. After all, you're
working with computers!
What did we learn from the above?

The Golden Rules of Editing PDs


Dos Don’ts
If you create, modify, or delete quotations Don’t be afraid of editing a "PD," but do it
during an editing session, save the file as explained above.
when leaving edit mode.
Avoid Path Mapping all together and Once assigned as a PD NEVER edit the
follow some basic principles of project data source with any other tool than
management. ATLAS.ti.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 87


Always use Copy Bundle to backup, copy, Don't separate the files comprising a data
or migrate projects – greatly simplified by source: the document file and its LOG file.
good project management (see “Project
Management” on page 267).

A Sample PD Editing Session


While the data sources Let’s assume you work in a team of five people. Each of you is
referenced by an HU can located in a separate office and sitting in front of a computer with
be shared by multiple users, ATLAS.ti running. All of you work on the same project and
HUs cannot be worked on analyze the same pool of data source files. As shown below, all
concurrently. Therefore, data source files are located on a network drive and are shared by
each team member works all team members.
on her ‘own’ HU. The work
can then be combined using
the ATLAS.ti Merge
feature.

Figure 32 – Editing PDs “live” in a shared team context

It is Monday morning at 9 a.m. Paul, Mary, and William are


currently working on an ATLAS.ti project. The project consists of
120 documents including interview material, observations,
photographs, short video clips, newspaper articles, and other
secondary data material. The documents are saved on network
drive Z: in folder \ATLAS project\Project 576\textbank\…. Each
team member focuses on a particular subset of the data material,
but all have access to the full set of documents.
Mary currently works with PD observation_4. She reads through it,
codes it, and writes a few memos. Paul now also wants to look at
the document observation_4. He loads the document into his HU,
checks a few things, and codes a few more data segments.
Mary also continues her work on observation_4. While reading
through it, she remembers some further details and wants to add
her thoughts into the document. In order to do so, she enters into
edit mode. Paul can continue to work on observation_4, as it is
already loaded into his HU. If another team member wants to edit
observation_4 after Mary entered edit mode, a message pops up
saying that the document is currently edited by Mary and is
blocked from being edited by anyone else.

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Mary adds three new paragraphs to observation_4. ATLAS.ti
adjusts all code, quotation, and memo references automatically. It
is 10:30 a.m. now. Mary leaves edit mode, saves observation_4,
and the HU, and takes a break.
William accesses observation_4 next. He receives a message
stating that changes have been detected in the data source file
observation_4.rtf and that all PDs using this data source need to be
synchronized (in this case P7). Paul will see this message the next
time he loads observation_4.

In order to load P7 (i.e., observation_4), William needs to confirm


this message. Modified PDs can only be loaded after all necessary
alignments have been processed during the synchronization.
You may say NO to this message for now, but you will not be able
to load the document until you confirm the synchronization.
After synchronizing observation_4, William can continue to work
on it, add new codes, memos etc. He may also edit the document.
All other team members will be informed about any further
modifications. For this reason, there is no danger that the team will
end up with five different versions of the document. Due to
ATLAS.ti’s content surveillance system, each team member works
with the most up-to-date version of the document. The only thing
that remains to be done, if necessary, is to merge the HUs of
William, Linda, Peter, Paul, and Mary from time to time, so that all
coding and other work performed on the data is joined together.

Converting Documents to New Paragraph Model


The issue of old and new paragraph models is described in greater
Relevant for users detail in section “Handling Legacy Documents” on page 71. In
of ATLAS.ti 4.2! most cases, only users of ATLAS.ti 4 need to be concerned with
this procedure.

Paragraphs in ATLAS.ti 4
In previous ATLAS.ti versions, a paragraph was a series of lines
Convert your separated by a hard return. The end of the paragraph was delimited
plain text files, by another hard return; in other words, an empty line. This is the
including line breaks, “old paragraph model”. In order to be assigned as PDs and to be
to the new paragraph viewed comfortably in ATLAS.ti, documents had to be saved with

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 89


model to achieve hard returns for every line break. Such a procedure is no longer
smooth wrapping. necessary. Lines are displayed via the wrap options available
(dynamically with regard to current window width and more
statically using the current printer setting) and paragraphs are
defined by a single hard return.

Getting Rid of Hard Returns


When you prefer to wrap dynamically, documents formatted using
the old paragraph model can be converted to the standard
paragraph model. During the conversion, empty lines (or multiple
hard returns) are converted to a single hard return and all other hard
returns are removed. All paragraphs are preserved but are now
dynamically wrapped.

To convert a document to the new paragraph model:


1. Load the (text) document.
2. Enter Edit mode.
3. Select DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT/ CONVERT TO
NEW PARAGRAPH MODEL from the main menu.
4. In the following dialog, you can choose to preserve empty
lines between paragraphs and you can select to be asked at
every occurrence. If you have selected a piece of text, you
may also choose to restrict the conversion to the selected text.

5. Leave the Edit mode and save the PD.

Optimizing Load Time for Converted Documents


You may experience a significant increase of the time needed to
load a document which has been previously converted into the new
paragraph model. The conversion to the new paragraph model is an
automatic editing procedure that will increase the size of the
companion LOG file significantly. This log file records all changes
to the content of a data source and is always inspected when
loading a PD. The time needed for checking is proportional to the
size of the LOG file.
Note: If you know that all PDs in all HUs using this document
When converted are in sync with the document you have converted, you may

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documents need a compress the LOG file via DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE
longer time to load, MANAGEMENT/RESET CHANGE LOG. This will reduce the size of the
consider resetting the LOG file and keep loading times to a minimum.
LOG file.

How ATLAS.ti Handles Documents


An HU, or more precisely, its PDs, accesses documents via
The content of a reference, e.g., file name and paths. Once a data source has been
file is not embedded, assigned to an HU, it is mandatory that during the course of a
but referenced via its project it always accesses this same document and not a different
path and name. This one.
connection must stay
The main consequence of an architecture made up of referenced
intact. If it is not, you
files is that those files must always be at their original locations
are about to ask the
when you (or your project) need them. Otherwise, the files are not
most frequently asked
found (creating a “broken link”). However, you do have the means
question: “Where is my
to make such references more flexible.
PD?”

Referencing - a Common Procedure


ATLAS.ti organizes projects into different referenced files. This is
a common procedure for many professional applications when
things get large or complex. Two well-known examples for
systems of referenced files are discussed in this section.

Example 1: The World Wide Web Way


When you click on a link in a Web page, your browser loads and
displays the linked page (= target). A Web link is really nothing but
a reference to another Web page. Such a reference or URL
(Uniform Resource Locator) is very much like a file name, only
that the former is unique in the “namespace” of the whole world,
while a simple file name is unique only on a certain computer.
However, if the linked page has ceased to exist, has been moved or
renamed, or if a connection to the site where the file resides can
simply not be established, you will get a message that the page
cannot be loaded (the infamous "error 404”).
If the owner of the missing Web page takes pity on other pages
referencing the moved page, she would create a forward link
(“redirection”) to the new location of the page.
ATLAS.ti works in a similar manner: Files that are assigned to an
HU do not become a physical part of the HU, but are referenced via
the file’s path and name.

Example 2: Word Documents with External References


Word™ gives you the option to organize large documents into one
central document and a number of semi-dependent subdocuments--
say, one for each chapter of a book.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 91


The objective is to reduce the overall size of the main document
and make handling easier and faster. Why load 50 chapters into
memory when you want to read or edit only two of them?
Furthermore, this approach facilitates teamwork: while the main
document is edited by the main author, other team members can
work on individual chapters.
Although a multitude of files are stored, Word gives the
appearance of working with one single monolithic file. When you
click on an “outsourced” chapter, its file is loaded from the disk
and displayed just as it would if it was an integral part of the main
document.
But, alas, if you decide to copy the main document to another
computer and forget to take all subdocuments along, you will
experience the dreaded “file not found” error when you want to
look at a single chapter.
But even when you dutifully copy all the subdocuments along with
the main document, there is no guarantee that you will be able to
continue working smoothly on the other computer. If the
subdocuments were referenced via absolute path names (e.g.,
d:\word\manual\chapter22.doc) and your other computer cannot
resolve this path because you copied everything into
c:\mydocuments\ instead of d:\word, you still will not be able to
access the chapters, even though they are all there!

The ATLAS.ti Reference Model


If you translate the Word way of handling multiple documents
through one main document into the ATLAS.ti world, the analogy
is straightforward:
The main document is equivalent to the HU, and the subdocuments
("chapters") equal the PD data sources. Just like the chapter
headers are displayed inside the central document, PDs are listed in
the HU. But when it comes to displaying their contents, clicking on
a chapter in the Word doc will yield an error just like clicking a PD
in ATLAS.ti, if those files are not properly assigned.
This is where ATLAS.ti extends beyond WORD. Word does not
worry about misaligned quotations after a subdocument was edited,
nor does it have any intelligent strategies for keeping track of
documents under changing circumstances.

Basic Principles for Working with Referenced


Documents:
• During the lifetime of an HU, references to documents always
need to point to the same documents (or equivalent copies). In
other words: Make an effort to keep your documents where
they are when you first assign them to the HU.
• Changing the references to external data sources must be
matched by appropriate relocation of the affected documents.

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In other words, if you change a reference, move the document
to the new location specified.
• Moving documents must be matched by updating their
references in EVERY referencing HU. In other words, if you
move a document, inform all HUs that use it about its new
"address."
• Editing the contents of documents used by any HU must
always be done from within ATLAS.ti.

What’s a good reference?


A good reference
is correct, existing, • A correct one: have you assigned
flexible, and consistent. the right document?
• An existing one: does the file
(still) exist?
• A flexible one: can the file be
moved without changing its reference?
• A consistent one: does it always
yield the right document?

Consequences of Accessing PDs via References


The use of references offers flexibility and economy in handling
large numbers of large-sized documents and allows teams to work
on shared data sources concurrently. However, you need to be
aware of what it means to access documents via external
references.

Consequences
• As we have discussed, coding work on PDs does not affect the
data source. A quotation created during the process of coding
is nothing but a reference (including the file’s path and name,
and the start and end position of the selection. The quotations
themselves are part of the HU and will always be displayed in
the list. However, if the file to which it refers is not found
when the quotation is to be displayed in context, an error
occurs.
• If you move data source files that are in use to another location
(something you would normally not do), you need to update
the references inside the HU, (see “Change Path (for one PD at
a time)” on page 102).
• In order to copy all files that belong to a project, use the COPY
BUNDLE function instead (see “Copy Bundle - Migrate and
Backup Projects” on page 279). If you were to copy an HU file
using standard Windows functionality, the documents used as
PDs are not copied along and would be missing at the target
location.
This way of treating files results in the following benefits:

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 93


• The size of a PD does not affect the size of the HU to which it
is assigned.
• A single data source file can be used by more than one HU. It
may even be assigned to the same HU multiple times.
• Team members can share data files. Changes to data sources
(editing) are broadcast to ALL HUs that use the files, keeping
everyone up-to-date.

Reference Types: Many Paths, One Destination


There are a different ways to establish external references in order
to accommodate a wide variety of situations. ATLAS.ti always
uses the most efficient way to reference a document once it is
assigned to an HU. This section discusses techniques for making
references more flexible: special paths, and, if absolute paths are
necessary, path mapping.

Absolute Paths
Absolute paths are fully qualified file names, such as:
D:\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\Interviews\Interview1.rtf
Or:
\\Server1\D\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\Interviews\Interview1.rtf
The former path references a file in a non-ambiguous way on a
specific computer which has a disk drive D:. The latter path (a
UNC path) addresses a file on a specific computer in a local area
network.
Both paths will refer to the same file if your computer is, in fact,
Server1.

Pros
• As long as the file itself is not deleted or replaced by another
one, it will always be found at this original location.
• Absolute paths stay valid even when moving the HU to another
location on this computer or, when UNC paths are used, to
another computer within the local network.
• Absolute unique paths in a local area network are easy to share
among users.

Cons
• When porting the project to another computer or to another
network, files will not be found unless the target has identical
conditions (identical drives, identical folder structure, identical
computer and network names).
• If referenced files or folders are moved to another drive or to
another computer, the references become invalid.

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Special Paths
Absolute paths are exact and inflexible. To overcome this
restriction, a more flexible reference type is offered: Special Paths.
ATLAS.ti uses special Special paths eliminate the need to address specific resources (a
paths to reference data specific computer, a specific drive, a specific path) that may not
sources whenever be available over the lifetime of a project. There is no need to
possible. Special paths know the actual file paths when porting a project to another
offer a degree of flexi- computer.
bility, which increases Special paths contain variable components that are interpreted
project portability. whenever the reference is needed.
Special paths (or special folders) are common in Windows. Most
users are probably aware of the following examples:
User's Desktop: A folder that contains files and folders that appear
on the desktop on a per-user basis. Typically C:\Documents and
Settings\username\Desktop.
User's Personal Data Folder (“My Documents”): A folder that
serves as a per-user repository for documents. Typically,
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents.
Other special folders refer to the location for temporary system
files, fonts, Windows system files, etc.
By using special folders, Windows can manage different users on
the same computer and restrict access to personal files to the
specified user.
In ATLAS.ti, two special paths (or special folders) serve a similar
purpose. By not assigning file references via absolute paths,
projects and users have their private repositories, and changes to
the underlying hardware do not affect the ability to retrieve the
right files.
This is done through two special path variables, HUPATH and
TBPATH. The HUPATH is the folder in which the HU is stored.
While there is one HUPATH for every opened HU, there is only
one TBPATH, which is explicitly set by the user.

Special path: HUPATH


HUPATH is relative to Unlike the Windows special folders or the TBPATH, the HUPATH
a specific HU. It has no is relative to a specific HU and cannot be set explicitly. It exists for
relevance independent the HU once it has been saved to a specific location. It has no
of this HU. meaning outside a given HU.
When documents are assigned as PDs, special paths are used
whenever possible. To activate this feature, the Use Special
Paths option must be checked in GENERAL PREFERENCES.
When you save an HU as:
D:\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\About Paths.hpr5
it will set its HUPATH variable to:

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D:\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\
When you later assign a document to this HU and this document is
stored below this path, ATLAS.ti will replace absolute path
components with the HUPATH variable.
D:\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\Interviews\Interview1.rtf
becomes:
<HUPATH>\Interviews\Interview1.rtf.
By replacing absolute references to specific disk drives and
specific computers, this reference will always work, even when
copying the HU and the complete folder tree with root
D:\Data\ATLASti\ProjectX\
to
C:\ATLASProjects.

Pros
• The HU always finds its PD files as long as sub folders and
files are not moved independently of the HU’s folder.
• Portability: Moving projects is simple: copy the HU’s folder
and all subfolders.

Cons
• Sharing data between different HUs or even different users is
not very convenient unless the HUs reside under the same
folder.

Special path: TBPATH


The customizable TBPATH (Textbank Path) has the following
TBPATH is user-relative. It objectives:
affects ALL projects on • It is the default folder opened
which the user works. It is whenever you assign documents, save HUs, etc.
set via GENERAL
PREFERENCES. • It is a convenient location
(including subfolders) in which to store your project’s
documents.
To emphasize that this special path is user-relative, it is set to the
following default location after the installation of ATLAS.ti:
TBPATH = {My Documents}\Scientific
Software\ATLASti\Textbank
This creates a nested special folder! The Windows special folder
“My Documents” is also a variable. This location was selected
because the "My Documents" folder is a location that belongs to
the user currently logged in under Windows. The user has all
required permissions to work on items in this folder.
But setting the TBPATH to a private user folder may not always be
appropriate, useful, or even smart. In cases where more than one
user on a specific computer needs to access files from a central

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repository, this path variable should be set to a location that is
outside the user’s private folder hierarchy, e.g.:
C:\ATLASti\Data\
All users working on the same local network can use a UNC path
instead:
\\Server1\C\ ATLASti\Data\
Each user wishing to access this folder needs to set their TBPATH
identically.

Pros
• If this path is set appropriately on different computers, projects
can easily be carried back and forth.
• If the location of the data repository changes, access can be
easily managed by simply changing the TBPATH to the new
location.
• In a local area network, this folder is available to all ATLAS.ti
users if it was set to a central location, i.e. one where all users
have appropriate permissions.

Cons
• When the TBPATH is changed and the new location does not
contain the files or the previous location or an exact copy of
these files, references of PDs using the TBPATH reference
will fail. As ATLAS.ti has very strict version control features
regarding the usability of files used as PDs, access will be
rejected if files found at the new location do not match the
accessibility information each PD stores when accessing a data
source. Inaccessibility can be caused by a file that has been
edited.

Working with special paths


By default, the “Use Special Paths” option is active. It can be
changed via EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/GENERAL.
The TBPATH is set under EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/PATHS.
The HUPATH is determined when the HU is saved.
When assigning a file as a PD, ATLAS.ti creates the reference
using the following rules:
If the file is located in the folder hierarchy of the HU, <HUPATH>
is used.
If the file is not in the HU hierarchy, and if the file is located in the
folder hierarchy rooted by the TBPATH variable, <TBPATH> is
stored as the reference to the file.
If none of the above holds or “Use Special Paths” is deactivated,
the absolute path is used.

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Note: If the HU itself is stored in the TBPATH folder, HUPATH
“wins.” If you need to assign documents using the TBPATH
variable (in preparation of teamwork scenarios), you need to store
the HU off the TBPATH folder hierarchy.

Conclusion
Special paths should be used deliberately wherever applicable.
They ease the task of locating referenced documents in a very
efficient manner. Using special paths makes management of
projects involving multiple HUs, multiple locations, and multiple
users convenient. An HU containing special paths instead of
absolute references makes it easy to transfer and install projects on
other computers.

Optimize Paths
Usually the best path is already chosen when a document is
assigned and the “Use Special Paths” option was set.
HUs created with Older HUs typically contain absolute path references and are
ATLAS.ti 4 are good therefore less flexible.
candidates for OPTIMIZE You can change an HU’s references to its documents to conform to
PATHS the scheme above even after files have already been assigned as
PDs, i.e., you can “Optimize Paths.”
“Optimize Paths” does two things at the same time:
1. Replaces an invalid path that was redirected with its mapped
path, making this redirection obsolete.
2. Translates a path into its most condensed and flexible
representation – if the path can be subsumed under the special
paths (see examples).
Only those PDs with accessible data sources are included in the
path optimization.
Data sources must
be accessible for the “Optimize Path” can be applied to all or a selection of PDs. Via the
Optimize Path HU Editor main menu’s DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE
procedure MANAGEMENT/OPTIMIZE PATHS, optimization for all PDs is initiated.
When using the equivalent option offered in the PD Manager, only
the currently selected PDs are optimized.

Examples
If PDs in the HU reference files in folder D:\ProjectX\ and the HU
itself is in the same folder, Optimize Paths (DOCUMENTS/DATA
SOURCE MANAGEMENT/OPTIMIZE PATHS) will change the references
to these data sources to include the HUPATH special path variable.
D:\ProjectX\interview_1.rtf
D:\ProjectX\Special\interview_7.rtf

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<HUPATH>\interview_1.rtf
<HUPATH>\Special\interview_7.rtf
The same principles work for documents stored in the TBPATH
hierarchy, unless the HU is also stored in the same location.

Adjusting References
The very concept of external references assumes that the locations
of data source files are not changed after they have been assigned
to the HU. However, some situations make it necessary to update
invalid references to PDs.
Redirection of hanging references becomes an issue when an
existing project needs to be adapted to an altered environment
(computer or network) or if such a modification is in preparation.
"System modifications" are fairly common occurrences, such as
moving folders to disks with more available space, or moving to a
new computer altogether. From your project’s view, this is also a
modification. These cases are similar in that (absolute) paths to
documents, which worked well before, now no longer point to the
correct document files. It now becomes necessary to give these
projects a little help in finding all their documents.

Two Ways to Adjust References


Redirection: Dynamically uses an alternate path for one, many, or
all documents when needed.
Change Path: Permanently changes the path reference to the
document for each PD that needs it.
The change path option changes the external reference that is used
by ATLAS.ti to access a data source file permanently. The
redirection option, in comparison, creates additional alternatives,
leaving the original reference untouched. Based on these different
functionalities, the two options can be used for different purposes:
Use the change path option to do the following:

• To move a PD and all associated files to a different location on


your computer.
• To modify the path for a single or only a few PDs after
documents have been moved.
• To change the name of a data source file reference.
Use the redirection option for the following purposes:

• To create alternative access routes to your data source files if


the location has changed for many or all of your PDs. This
may occur when a system is restructured.
• To create an alternative access route if a drive that was used to
assign PDs (e.g., Z:) is not available on your computer, which
may happen after migrating to another computer.
A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 99
• Last resort: If no explicit redirection yields a valid path via
“fallback” (described below), documents with the same file
name are searched for only in the HUPATH or TBPATH
folder.

Redirection
If a document cannot be found under its original reference (file
name and path), two procedures are initiated: first “Path Mapping”
is tried, then “Fallback.”

How ATLAS.ti loads mapped PDs:


• If a PD’s data source cannot be loaded, ATLAS.ti inspects the
mapping file to find a valid substitution for the path that is
causing the error.
• If a mapping file is found, and a mapping exists for the original
path, the program tries to load the file from an alternative path.
• If this does not produce a valid path, then the fallback paths are
checked.
• If even this last attempt to load the file fails, you will see an
error message.
A "redirected" PD is indicated as such in the status bar at the
bottom of the screen.

Redirection is also displayed in the Document Manager’s Location


column. It shows where a data source file was actually found:

In the above example a file expected in the folder of the HU (origin


is the HUPATH folder) is found in the textbank folder.
Redirection should be used with some caution, as every additional
If you can avoid alternative to find a matching document increases the probability
Path Mapping that you will actually end up accessing the wrong document: same
altogether – great! name, different folder, and different revision. This is a problem if
But there are a few you have edited a document and saved various versions in different
situations where it locations. You should try to make sure that older documents are not
might be necessary. accidentally and erroneously referenced because of too many
mapping alternatives. A much safer way to handle references is to
change the original reference to match the actual location, in other
words: CHANGE PATH.

Path Mapping
Path mapping works as follows:
A precondition is that the user has defined path mappings using the
mapping tool described below. If a document reference cannot be
resolved, ATLAS.ti looks into the mapping table for optional

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replacement paths for the one that does not work. More than one
replacement path can match a single path. All replacement paths
are tried in the order they were defined. If a valid replacement is
found, it will be used.

Note: Mapping affects the complete hierarchy below the map


entry. For instance, if an invalid path z:\tb\ is mapped to
c:\textbank\, path z:\tb\projectX\ and then path
c:\textbank\projectX would be tried in addition unless a more
restrictive mapping precedes this entry.

How to create path mappings


1. From the menu (HU Editor or Document Manager), select
DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT/EDIT PRIMARY-
DOCUMENT MAPPINGS.
2. The Path Map Editor opens:

Figure 33 - Path Map Editor

The figure above shows a mapping example for path


Z:\My files\ATLASti project data\.
With this mapping, the documents:
Z:\My files\ATLASti project data\interview_3.rtf and
Z:\My files\ATLASti project data\Special\interview_4.rtf
would also be assumed at:
H:\My files\ATLASti project data\interview_3.rtf and
H:\My files\ATLASti project data\Special\interview_4.rtf
in case they are not accessible at their original location.
It is possible to define more than one replacement alternative for a
given path. However, we strongly advise against making use of
such multi mappings! As we have already pointed out, chances of

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 101


accessing a wrong document with the same name increase with
multiple alternatives.

To enter a path to be mapped:


3. Into the ‘From:’ entry field on the left side of the Path Map
Editor, type in either the full path, select a path from the drop-
down list, or click on the file browser symbol. Generally,
useful options (non-accessible paths used in the current HU)
are already offered in the drop-down list.

4. Once a path is entered or selected, click on the Add Path


button. The path will be added to the list of currently mapped
paths.
5. Now enter (or choose from the drop-down) a replacement
path into the ‘To:’ field on the right side of the Path Map
Editor in the same fashion:
6. Click on the Add Path button.
7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 for every path to be mapped.
8. Press Apply or Apply & Close to store and activate the new
mapping(s).

Redirection: Fallback
A “fallback” path is used when a mapping does not exist or a valid
path cannot be found. In addition, the fallback option must be
switched on in the Path Map Editor.
The HUPATH is searched first, and if the document cannot be
found, it looks into the TBPATH.

Note: In fallback mode, both folders are searched without


searching any of their sub folders.

Change Path (for one PD at a time)


With Change Path, you can modify the reference of a single PD in
a specific HU to its data source. You can modify the path, the file
name, or both. Furthermore, the special path can be changed, or an
absolute path can be replaced by a special path, if appropriate.
If you change the path for a perfectly accessible document,
ATLAS.ti “thinks” that you want to move this document to a new
location. Change Path is the best option to do this. But use caution:
you are changing conditions for a specific HU. In case you use
Change Path to move a document that is also assigned in other
HUs, this document will no longer be found. In such multi-project

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settings, path mapping, which affects ALL HUs and all of their
PDs (of the current user), may be the preferred option.

How to Change a Path:


1. Select the PD whose reference will be changed.
2. Choose DOCUMENTS/DATA SOURCE MANAGEMENT/CHANGE PATH
from the main menu. If you attempt to change the path for an
accessible document, a warning will pop up.
3. The Change Path prompter opens with the current path
displayed.

4. The drop-down list to the left shows the current reference


type (Absolute, TBPATH, or HUPATH). The field to the
right displays the documents path name relative to the
reference type.
5. You can cancel the procedure at any time by clicking the
Cancel button.
6. If necessary, change the reference type by selecting from the
list. The complete path will be changed accordingly:

7. Now enter, if required, the new file name. Alternatively, you


can use the Browse button to select a new location (using the
previous file name). Hold down the Ctrl-key if you prefer a
file browser to select the new file to be used.
8. If you are happy with the result, close this dialog by clicking
OK.
9. If a valid document was detected at the old location, another
dialog box asks for confirmation to move the file from its
current location to the new location. If you click Yes, the file
is moved and the PD’s reference is updated accordingly. If
you click No, the reference is changed but the file is not
moved (do this, for example, if there already is a valid file in
the target folder). If you click Cancel, you are back in the
Change Path dialog box.

Note: You must save the HU to make these changes permanent.

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104 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
The Textual Level - Basic
Functions

As you may already know (see “The Process” on page 25), there
are two principle levels of interaction with ATLAS.ti, the textual
and the conceptual.
The textual level includes activities like segmenting and
organizing data files, coding data segments, and writing memos,
while the conceptual level focuses on model-building activities,
such as linking codes to form semantic networks.
In this chapter, you will learn about the main procedures needed to
begin your data analysis. These include how to mark, code, and
comment text, graphic, audio and video segments; how to write
memos; and how to group your documents, codes, and memos into
families and super families.

Selecting Document Segments


The most common operations on primary documents -- especially
when starting a project -- are selecting data sections, assigning
codes and/or memos to them.
Marking a segment does not by itself create a quotation, though
this is often the very next step after making a selection.

Selecting Text Segments


In addition to the usual selection techniques known from text
editors and word processors, ATLAS.ti offers an extended “semi-
automatic” double-click selection technique for textual primary
documents.
Here is how it works:

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Double-click selection 1. Double-click to select the
sequence: word (assuming it is not yet selected).
Word 2. Double-click on the selection to
Sentence expand it to the sentence embedding the current selection.
Paragraph 3. Double-click on the selection to
Complete Text expand it to the full paragraph surrounding the selection.
Unselect 4. Double-click again to select the
complete text.
5. Double-click once more to
unselect the selected area.

Note: To optimize retrieval of quotations using the Query Tool,


using semi-automatic selection for creating quotations offers the
necessary consistency.
For the semi-automatic selection of sentences and paragraphs, the
currently used Paragraph Model plays a crucial role. For instance,
if you have assigned a “Legacy” document with hard returns for
every line, selecting a paragraph will select a line unless you have
switched interpretation to an “Old Paragraph Model” (see
“Handling Legacy Documents” on page 71)

Selecting Graphical Segments


Selecting graphical segments differs from the operations required
for selecting segments within textual documents. However, the
overall look and feel is sufficiently similar.
1. Move the mouse pointer to the
upper left corner of the rectangular section that you are going to
create.

2. Drag (holding down the left


mouse button) the mouse to the lower right corner of the
rectangle.

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3. Release the mouse button. You
have now created a selection and the rectangle will be
highlighted (inverse display or thicker border).

Navigating Multimedia and Selecting Segments


Creating, (dis)playing, and modifying media quotations is as easy
as creating textual or graphical segments. The following section
explains the Media Control window that is used to create audio and
video quotations. When working with video data, an additional
video window is opened that plays the video. The video window
floats on top of all other windows. It can be resized and moved to
an appropriate position.

Figure 34 Active video window

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The Multimedia Control Window

Figu
re 35 - The multimedia control window

The title bar displays the name of the selected primary document
together with some information about the media contents (e.g.,
length, stereo vs. mono, recording quality, etc.).
Below the title bar are three info fields that display the name of the
selected quotation, the start and end position, and its length. For
audio files, the position data is displayed in minutes:seconds:
milliseconds; for video files, it is displayed in frames. Next to the
toolbar you will find another info field displaying the current
absolute position.
The track bar represents the entire length of the audio (or video)
file. The slider shows the current position. To navigate audio or
video files, you can move the track slider, push the skip and move
buttons, or use the right and left cursor keys.
The toolbar offers the following functionalities (from left to right):

Tool Description
Clicking on this button will toggle between playing
Play/Pause or pausing the current audio or video stream. When
you hold down the Ctrl key at the same time, the
current segment will be played. Keyboard shortcut:
Play = p, toggle = Space.
Stops playing the current file and in addition also
Stop "releases" the resource, giving, as it were, other
Windows applications the opportunity to access the
resource and/or the media player. Keyboard shortcut:
Stop = s
Repeats either the complete file or any selected
Repeat/Loop segment until the pause or stop button is clicked.
Especially useful to repeat noise-covered or
otherwise hard-to-understand passages during
transcription.
Helps to fine-tune a segment end, e.g., to isolate a
Sneak Preview word from a contiguous spoken text. When moving
the position while the Sneak Preview mode is active,
a short “preview” of 500 milliseconds (or 2 frames
for video data) is played repeatedly, making it easier

108 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


for marking the boundary of your segment. Using
this function takes practice and is best used in
combination with the cursor keys.
Repositions the track slider to either the next
Skip back selection mark to the left or the beginning of the file.

Repositions the track slider by 1/20 of the overall


Move back size of the file to the left.
Repositions the track slider by 1/20 of the overall
Move forward size of the file to the right.
Repositions the track slider to either the next
Skip forward selection mark to the right or the end of the file.
The current position is made the start coordinate of a
Selection start segment to be created. Keyboard shortcut: <

The current position determines the end coordinate of


Selection end
a segment.
Keyboard shortcut: >
Holding down the SHIFT key while clicking the
button creates a quotation for the current selection
and starts a new selection. This facilitates fast
creation of sequential quotations.
Creates a free quotation from the current selection.
Create quotation This button is disabled unless a valid segment is
marked or if the segment already matches an existing
quotation. Keyboard shortcut: q (note: q also starts a
new selection).
In combination with the CTRL key, this button trims
the current media quotation to the current selection.

In addition to the buttons in the media control window, you can use
the cursor keys on your keyboard for fine resolution positioning.

Opening and Closing the Multimedia Control Window


The multimedia control window opens automatically when you
load a multimedia document. When you switch from a media to a
graphic or text PD, the media control window is closed. You can
also close the control window manually. To reopen the window,
open the context menu on the background of the multimedia
document pane (black with green text) and choose the menu
option: OPEN MEDIACONTROL.

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Preferences
Under EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/HU Editor, the following
characteristics can be made permanent:
• Play multimedia PD when
loaded
• Loop media clip

Creating Quotations
In most cases, creating quotations is part of a higher-level
procedure like coding or writing memos (described later).
There are a number of ways to create a quotation. These options
are available via the toolbar and menus, and via drag & drop. For
For immediate immediate feedback when creating quotations, switch on the
feedback, activate the
margin area margin area (if not yet activated).
Before a quotation can be created, an appropriate selection must
exist, as described above.

Creating a free Quotation


To create a free quotation
1. Mark a section in the primary
document.
2. Click the CREATE FREE
QUOTATION button in the HU Editor’s primary
document toolbar (also available in the multimedia control
window). Alternatively you can choose CREATE FREE
QUOTATION from the HU Editor’s main menu.

Creating Quotations Using The Context Menu


Only available for textual and graphical documents.

To create a quotation via the context menu


1. Mark a section in the primary document.
2. Open the context menu on the selection with a right mouse
click.

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3. Choose CREATE FREE QUOTATION.

Note: If you have accidentally chosen a section for which a


quotation already exists, the context menu will not include the
CREATE FREE QUOTATION command.

Creating Quotations Using Drag & Drop


This technique allows you to virtually "throw" pieces of text into
the quotations list.
A number of drag & drop activities create quotations.

To create a free quotation from a textual document


selection:
1. Move the mouse pointer into the selected text. The pointer
will change to its "drag & drop" appearance.
2. By holding down the left mouse button, drag the selection
into the quotation drop-down list or the Quotation Manager.

You have just created a quotation. A new entry appears in the


quotations drop-down list and the Quotation Manager. In the
margin, a new bracket will be displayed.
Quotations are also created in the course of coding or memoing
using drag & drop.

Activating Quotations
Quotations can be activated (retrieved) and displayed by selecting
an entry from the drop-down list, by double-clicking on an entry in
the Quotation Manager, or by clicking on the quotation bracket in
the margin area. Coded quotations can be retrieved by double-
clicking on an associated code (see “Code Manager” on page 53
for detail). Quotations can also be activated from the results pane
of the Query Tool (see “The Query Tool” on page 158).
A quotation can be activated and displayed from virtually any
browser displaying quotations: drop-down list, Object Manager,
Network Editor, Object Crawler, Object Explorer, etc.

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Activating Graphical Quotations
In addition to the general activation procedures listed above, a
graphical quotation can be activated by directly double-clicking
within its “box” in the document pane. Where two or more
quotations intersect, you are presented with a list of quotations
from which to choose.

Display Of Graphical Quotations


All graphical quotations are indicated by borders. A selected
quotation is depicted either in inverse color or by a thicker border.
Graphical quotations Permanent display of graphical quotations' frames can be toggled
in a document appear off and on. To change the way graphical quotations are displayed:
as rectangles. The Right click an area on the graphical document that is not a
selected quotation is quotation and Choose TOGGLE AREAS DISPLAY from the pop up menu.
emphasized. The display style of selected quotations can be set via the
SELECTION-DISPLAY TYPE submenu.

(Dis)playing audio and video quotations


Audio and video quotations can be selected and (dis)played like
any other quotation with one exception. As there is no margin area
for multimedia documents, no clickable brackets represent
multimedia quotations. However, they may appear in the margin as
hyperlinks (see figure below).
When you double-click on a multimedia hyperlink in the margin,
you do not see the usual info text popping up. Instead, the
quotation is played directly without opening the Media Control
window. To display the info text instead, press the Shift-key when
double-clicking on the hyperlink.
Media-type quotations can be distinguished easily by their icons.
These icons may be used in the margin area, the Object Manager,
the Object Explorer, the Crawler, and in Network Views. The
figure below shows the media types of four hyperlinked quotations
in the margin. From top to bottom: audio, video, text, and graphical
hyperlinks.

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Figure 36 –Hyperlinks of different content type in the margin

Modifying Quotations
This feature lets you change the boundaries (start and end position)
of a quotation.

Changing The Boundaries Of A Quotation


1. Activate the quotation if not already selected.
2. Select a data segment that you actually want to use as this
quotation. This destroys the data selection of the quotation
just selected. However, the next step simply modifies the
most recently selected quotation.

Click the modify button , located to the left of the text window
or choose QUOTATIONS/MODIFY from the main menu. For
multimedia quotations, use the combination of the Ctrl key and the
Media Control window’s Create Quotation button.
The quotation will be changed reflecting the new boundaries.

New boundaries match existing quotation


If the new boundaries match another existing quotation, you are
asked for confirmation to "merge" the currently modified and the
already existing quotation. The quotation resulting from the merge
operation collects the references of both quotations. For example, if
the modified quotation was coded with code A and the existing
quotation with matching boundaries with code B, the new
quotation will be referenced by both code A and B.

Note: If you modify a previously renamed text quotation, you are


asked for confirmation using the newly selected string (truncated)
as its list display name.

Deleting Quotations
Quotations can be deleted. Of course, nothing is removed from the
primary document’s data source.

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Deleting a quotation affects only its references. "Free" quotations
are deleted silently. However, if references to codes, quotations, or
memos exist, you are prompted for confirmation.
The option to delete quotations is available in a number of different
places: the Quotation Manager, the drop-down list, the Object
Explorer, and the margin.

Deleting Quotation(s) in the Quotation Manager


1. Select the quotation(s) in question.

2. Click the Remove button .


3. If references exist for the quotation, confirm or reject the
deletion process.
Note: All quotations of a primary document are deleted when the
primary document is disconnected from the Hermeneutic Unit.

Coding Techniques
The coding procedures described in this section do not fully
encompass the complexity of the intellectual activity of coding as,
for example, understood in Grounded Theory (GLASER &
STRAUSS, 1967).
Methodologically, coding is more than merely
indexing data. Coding is simply the procedure of
associating code words with selections of data. In
ATLAS.ti’s framework, the foundation of
“coding” is the association between a quotation
and a code. The following describes ways to
establish, maintain, or remove such associations.
Although some of the coding techniques reflect
Code associated with the ideas and terminology used in Grounded
multiple quotations. Theory, you do not have to use this methodology
when analyzing your data within ATLAS.ti.

Four coding procedures are described: Open Coding, In-Vivo


Coding, Code-by-List, and Quick Coding. In addition, the
purpose and creation of free codes are explained. Automatic coding
is described elsewhere (see “The Auto-Coding Tool” on page 149).
A code may contain more than a single word, but should be
Make code names concise. Use the code comment area to write a definition. If you
as succinct as possible. find yourself writing prose instead of a succinct code name, you
might in fact want to annotate. If this is the case, use comments or
memos instead.

General Coding Procedure


There are some common steps with each of the coding procedures
described below.

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First of all, it is useful to switch on the margin display to see the
immediate effects of the coding process (note: there is no margin
area for audio and video documents). The margin area also permits
the direct manipulation of the codes and the associations between
the quotations and the codes.

To display the margin area

Choose VIEWS/MARGIN AREA from the main menu, or click the


Margin Area button in the primary document toolbar. The
margin area is a useful feedback device during coding. Codes are
displayed alongside the quotation to which they are attached.

Note: the size of the margin area can be changed by dragging the
Resize the margin "split bar" between the primary document pane and the margin
area. area with the left mouse button.

Coding creates quotations Coding results in codes linked to quotations. Any number of codes
for selected data sections if may be assigned to a quotation and vice versa: a code may refer to
needed any number of quotations. Coding implicitly creates quotations for
data segments that do not already match an existing quotation.

You may activate the basic coding procedures either in the primary
document toolbar, the CODING submenu of the CODES menu, the
Code Manager or the context menu of the data selection.
The coding options in the primary document toolbar:
Create a new code, ask user for name of code
OPEN CODING
Creates a code from the selected text
CODE IN VIVO
Selects existing codes from code list
CODE BY LIST
Codes with the currently selected code
QUICK CODING

How Codes are Displayed


After a code has been created, it appears as a new entry in several
locations (drop-down list, code manager). The Code Manager
provides a number of display options:
A ‘classic view’ as known from ATLAS.ti 4.
Typical Windows display options like Large Icons, Small Icons,
List and Details.

The details view has already been described at “Code Manager List
Columns” on page 54.

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The Classic view
Within curly brackets following the code name, groundedness and
density are displayed.
Grounded(ness). The number of quotations associated with this
code (above example:12). Large numbers indicate strong evidence
already found for this code.
Density. The number of codes connected to this code follows the
dash (above example:3). Large numbers can be interpreted as a
high degree of theoretical density.
Comment. The tilde character "~" flags commented codes. It is
used not only for codes but for all commented objects.

Open Coding
Open Coding assigns new codes with already existing or newly
created quotations. You can create one ore more codes in a single
step.

Coding with a single new code:


1. Select the data section or the
quotation you want to code.

2. Click the Open Coding button or choose CODING/OPEN


CODING from the main or context menu.
3. A “prompter” opens:

4. Enter the code name and click OK.


The new code now appears in the Code Manager. If a quotation
was also created, a it is displayed in the Quotation Manager.
Make it a habit to write a comment for every new code (see
Write comments! “Writing Code Comments” on page 119).

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Creating more than one code concurrently
When using the Open Coding procedure, more than one code can
be created at a time. In order to do so, you need to separate the
code names with the “vertical bar” or “pipe” character "|" (ASCII
124).

Create more than


one code at a time
using the “vertical
bar” character.

Boat|Mist|Indian creates three new codes. Already existing codes


are simply used and not created anew.

In-Vivo Coding
Use in-vivo coding when the text itself contains a useful and
The term "in-vivo"
meaningful name for a code.
in this context stems
from grounded theory, In-vivo coding creates a quotation from the selected text AND uses
which draws the the selected text (trimmed to 30 characters) as the code name. If the
researcher's attention selected text’s boundaries are not exactly what you want for the
to expressions used by quotation, modifying the quotation’s “spread” (see “Modifying
the interviewees Quotations” on page 113) is often the next step after creating the
themselves. in-vivo code.

Note: In-Vivo coding can only be applied to textual primary


documents.

To create an In-Vivo code


1. Mark the text passage that you want to use as an in-vivo code.
Bear in mind that the code name is created from the text
selection’s first 30 characters.

2. Click the In-Vivo coding button or choose CODING/IN-


VIVO CODING from the menu.
3. If needed, change the newly created quotation’s boundaries
(“Modifying Quotations” on page 113 for details).
In-Vivo coding can also be done using drag & drop.

To create an In-Vivo code via drag & drop


1. Mark the text passage that you want to use for In-Vivo
coding.

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2. Open the Code Manager.
3. Drag and drop the selected text into the Code Manager’s list
pane or the code drop-down list.
You can create a code from each word of the selected text by
Create multiple holding down the ALT key when dropping the text.
In-Vivo codes

Code-by-List
This procedure offers a list of all current codes from which one or
more code can be selected and associated with the current data
selection.
The number of codes that you can select from the list is unlimited.
If the data section resembles an existing quotation, only codes not
already assigned to this quotation are offered.

To use the Code-by-List technique


1. Select the data section/quotation to be coded.

2. Click the Code-by-List button or choose CODING/CODE BY


LIST from the menu.
3. From the list window with applicable codes select one or
more codes (while holding the Ctrl key) and click OK.

To use Code-by-List via drag & drop


Drag & drop is also available for the code-by-list technique. The
The Code Code Manager not only offers the In-Vivo drag & drop technique
Manager offers bi- described above. You may also drag any number of codes from the
directional drag & Code Manager onto a data selection.
drop.
1. Select a data section.
2. Open the Code Manager.
3. Select one or more codes in the Code Manager.
4. Drag and drop the codes into the primary document pane. If a
quotation already exists, you can alternatively drop the code
onto the bracket in the margin area.

Note: it is not necessary to drop the codes into the selected area.
You may drop the codes anywhere inside the primary document
pane.

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Code-by-List Inverse
The standard code-by-list technique associates a list of codes to
Code multiple one selected quotation. Sometimes, it makes more sense to
quotations at once. associate a list of quotations to one code.

To link a code to many quotations


1. In the Code Manager, or the drop down list select the code to
be associated with one or more quotations.
2. From the main or the code’s context menu, choose
CODES/CODING/LINK CODE TO:/QUOTATIONS.
3. A list of quotations that were not already assigned to the
selected code opens. Select one ore more quotations and click
OK.

To link a code to many quotations via Drag & Drop


1. In the Quotation Manager
Drag quotations select the quotations to be assigned to the code.
onto a code.
2. Drag & drop the selected
quotations into the Code Manager onto the code.

Quick Coding
Quick Coding assigns the selected code to the current data
segment. This is an efficient method for the consecutive coding of
segments using the most recently used code.

To apply the Quick-Coding method


1. Select a code in the Code Manager.
2. Select a data segment.

3. Click the Quick Coding button or choose CODING/QUICK


CODING from the menu.

Writing Code Comments


Like Primary Documents, comments can be added to clarify the
Use code meaning of a code or to explain how the code is to be used for
comments to define coding. The practice of commenting objects greatly supports a
your code words. transparent, and, if working as part of a team, cooperative working
style.

Creating and Editing a Code Comment


1. Select a code from the drop-down list.

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2. Choose CODES/EDIT COMMENT from the main menu.
3. A text editor opens. Write or edit an existing comment.
4. Save the changes and close the editor.
Of course, you can use the text pane of the Code Manager (see
“Editing Text” on page 48) to create or edit a comment.

Note: By accepting a comment, it is not stored permanently on


disk. You need to save the HU itself to save all such changes.

More Coding-Related Functions


This section describes some additional coding-related "house-
keeping" functions, such as creating free codes, importing lists of
codes, and renaming and removing codes.

Free Codes
You can create codes that have not (yet) been used for coding or
creating networks. Such codes are called “free” codes.

Why Create Free Codes?


• To prepare a stock of predefined codes in the framework of a
given theory. This is especially useful in the context of team
work when creating a base project.
• To code in a "top-down" (or deductive) way with all necessary
concepts already at hand. This complements the "bottom-up"
(or inductive) open coding stage in which concepts emerge
from the data.
• To create codes that come to mind during normal coding work
and that cannot be applied to the current segment but will be
useful later.

Creating a Free Code


1. From the main menu choose
CODES/CREATE FREE CODE or click the Create Code button in
the Code Manager.
2. A prompter opens as in Open
Coding. Enter one or more code names and click OK.
Such a free code shows the name suffix "{0-0}": no quotations, no
linked codes.

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Importing Codes
Creating Free Codes via the Batch Method
To create a large number of free codes, use the procedure described
in “Using Memos to Create a Code List” on page 132. This option
can be found under the MEMOS/MISCELLANEOUS menu.

Transferring Codes from Other Projects


If you want to import an already existing list of codes from another
HU (that might serve as a repository for codes), use the XML
Export/Import function for codes (see “Exporting and Importing
Codes in XML” on page 301). This option has the advantage that
already existing code definitions (i.e., code comments) are
transferred as well. If only a subset of codes is to be transferred
from one project to another, set a code filter in the exporting HU.
How to transfer codes:
1. Select CODES/MISCELLANEOUS/EXPORT CODES (XML).
2. Select the option Send Output to: File.
3. A file dialog window opens. Select a folder, enter a file name
and save the file.
4. Open a HU into which the codes will be imported.
5. For this HU, select CODES/MISCELLANEOUS/IMPORT CODES
(XML).
6. A file dialog window opens. Select the XML file that you
just exported and click Open.
7. The code list is imported. Check the Code Manager to see
whether the procedure was completed successfully and
according to your expectations.

Avoiding Name Clashes when Importing Code Lists


If a code with the same name already exists in the HU, the
imported code name is prefixed with three exclamation marks.
Another attempt to load a code with a conflicting name will be
ignored.

Note to ATLAS.ti 4.x users: The ‘old’ Import Codes function still
exists. In case you have some previously created code lists saved as
*.cod files that you wish to import, select CODES/MISCELLANEOUS
IMPORT CODE LIST. However, this format cannot be generated
anymore.

Renaming and Deleting a Code


Renaming and deleting codes are procedures that seem trivial, but
understanding the "scope" of these operations can be a problem for
Renaming or new users. For both operations you must understand, that there is
deleting a code has only ONE code object, e.g., "Happiness" in a given HU, even if
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global effects. you applied (associated with quotations, other codes, etc.) this code
many times. With the margin area switched on, you may see the
code appear many times while scrolling through your document. In
fact you are seeing “links” between a quotation represented by a
bracket and the code, represented by its name, icon, etc.
Renaming or removing a code in the margin besides a text on real
paper using an eraser and a pencil affects only one specific
occurrence of a code; all other occurrences of the same code are
untouched. The effect of the operation is local.
With ATLAS.ti you can do the same. However, you can do
additional things that are not possible using traditional paper and
pencil.
By renaming or removing a code from an HU, you are affecting
every occurrence of the code throughout the entire HU. The effect
is global. Renaming the code will instantly change all the code
“links” in the margin to reflect the new name. Deleting it will
remove all occurrences in the margin (and from all other contexts
in which it was engaged, like network views, families, etc.).

To Rename a Code
1. Select a code in a Network View or in one of the following
places: the code drop-down list, the Code Manager, the
Object Explorer or the Code Forest.
2. When selecting a code from a list, you can use the
CODES/RENAME function from the main menu. The Rename
option is also available from the context menu.
3. Enter the new name and click OK.
Another method to rename a code is to use "In-Place-Editing". This
option is available in the Code Manager, the Object Explorer, and
Renaming or the margin area. Renaming a code in-place in the margin area has
replacing? two different effects. The code can be renamed globally – affecting
all occurrences - or replaced by another code locally. This
preference can be set via the Margin tab of General Preferences
dialog. (EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/MARGIN/IN-PLACE-ACTION).

Deleting Codes
Deleting a code removes the code from the entire HU. All
references that involve this code are removed. It also disappears
from Network Views and families that contained this code.
If you only want to remove a code from a specific quotation, you
should “unlink” the code instead (see below).

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To delete a Code
1. Select a code in a Network View or in one of the following
places: the code drop-down list, the Code Manager, the
Object Explorer or the Code Forest.
2. In the Code Manager or the drop-down list use the DELETE
function from the menu. Object Managers also offer a Delete
button .
3. If the code has been used (e.g., is assigned to quotations,
connected to other codes, part of a super code, etc.), you are
asked for confirmation before the deletion process continues.
4. Furthermore, if quotations coded with this code are not used
in any other context, you are asked whether these quotations
should be removed as well.

Note: There is no undo function to get deleted codes back. If you


are unsure about the effects of the operation, make a backup copy
of your Hermeneutic Unit.

Unlinking Codes
This option is the reverse function of coding. It removes the links
between codes and quotations. Unlike the delete function, neither
codes nor quotations are removed; only the association between the
code and the quotation is removed.
Two methods are described in the following sections.

To unlink several codes from a quotation


This method is used to remove a number of codes linked to a
specific quotation.
1. Open the context menu of the desired quotation.
2. Choose UNLINK CODES from the context menu.
3. From the list of all codes connected to this quotation
displayed in a pop-up window select the codes to be unlinked
and click OK.
In the margin area you can see the immediate effect of this
operation: the unlinked codes disappear.

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To unlink a single code from a quotation
This method is a very direct manipulation of the association
between a code and a specific quotation using the interactive
margin areas.
1. Switch on the margin area
display.
2. Right-click a code in the
margin area.
3. Choose UNLINK from the
context menu. The code disappears from the margin area.It
does not disappear from other places in the margin where it
has been used.
Note: Remember, the DELETE option removes the code for good,
including all associations with quotations, codes, memos, etc.

Merging Codes
When developing a coding scheme, it may happen in the course of
the analysis that two or more codes essentially mean the same
thing. One cause could be the import of code lists with different
names but similar meanings.
ATLAS.ti offers a procedure to merge synonymous codes into one
Clean up resulting “target” code. This target code replaces the merged codes
synonymous codes by and "inherits" all of their references, i.e., quotations, links to other
merging them. codes or memos, and their comments.
There are two ways to merge codes: a list-based method, and one
that works from within the Network Editor. For a description of the
network method and a descriptive example of merging codes, see
“Merging Codes using the Network Editor” on page 241.

Merging Codes Using the List Method


1. Select the “target” code into which a number of other codes
are to be merged.
2. Choose CODES/MISCELLANEOUS/MERGE CODES from the HU
editor's main menu.
3. In the multiple choice window, select the codes to be merged
into the selected code.
Note: The codes merged into the resulting target node are
deleted from the Hermeneutic Unit's code database. Since
Save the HU before merging cannot be reversed easily, and since this procedure
merging codes. might affect many aspects, save the Hermeneutic Unit before
doing the merge. If you are not satisfied with the merge result,
you can reload the previously saved HU. Another more laborious
way to revert to the previous state is to split the target code. See
“Splitting Codes” on page 243.

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Retrieving Coded Quotations
There are different ways to retrieve coded segments: Quotations for
a single code or a combination of codes, quotations displayed in the
context of their primary documents, or quotations sent? to a report.
The simplest “retrieval” is by activating a code in the Code
Manager with a double-click.

Activating a quotation for a code


A straightforward method is to display quotations in context:
Quotations are textual and graphical quotations will be selected in the document
activated differently in when activated. A multimedia quotation begins to play when
context, depending on selected.
the media type.
When you select a code in the code drop-down list or double-click
an item in the Code Manager, the following happens--depending on
how many quotations are coded to that code:

If there is only one quotation


If there is only one quotation for the selected code, it will be
activated immediately.

If there are more quotations


If more than one quotation is associated with the code, they are
offered in a pop-up list. Selecting one of the quotations activates
Use the NEXT and PREVIOUS and displays it in context.
button in the Code
Manager to browse through
all quotations for a selected
code.

Figure 37 - List of quotations for an activated code

Create a Report for Coded Quotations


As an alternative to the contextual display of quotations, you can
get different reports of the quotations for a selected code. Reports
are displayed in a text editor and can be printed or saved.
To create a quotation report:
1. Select a code.
2. From the main menu, select CODES/OUTPUT/ QUOTATIONS FOR
SELECTED CODE. When selecting a code in the Code Manager
choose OUTPUT/ QUOTATIONS FOR SELECTED CODE.
3. Select QUOTATIONS FOR SELECTED CODE to create a report
including the full content of the quotations.

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Select QUOTATION LIST if you only want a list of the
quotations’ names.
4. If a comment has been written for any of the quotations, you
will be asked whether you also want to include the comments
in the report.
5. Next, you have the option to send the report to an editor,
printer, save it to disk (select File), or to save it and run the
file in the standard RTF application - usually Word or
Wordpad - (select File & Run).

Reports on Quotations for Code Combinations


To retrieve quotations or generate reports for combinations of
Use the Query codes use the Query Tool. For more information see “The Query
Tool for complex Tool” on page 158.
retrievals of
quotations.

Other Places to Activate Quotations


Quotations for a code can be activated from the margin area and
any browser displaying codes:
The Margin Area displays codes (and other objects) associated
with quotations. Clicking on a code in the margin area selects the
associated quotation in the primary document pane.
By activating objects in the Object Explorer (see “The Object
Explorer” on page 181) quotations are displayed in context similar
to the object manager.
The Network Editor (see “The Network Editor et. al.” on page
213) also offers access to associated quotations via a node’s
context menu.

Working with Memos


Writing memos is an important task in every phase of the
qualitative analysis process. The ideas captured in memos are often
the “pieces of a puzzle” that are later put together in the phase of
report writing. Theory-building, often associated with building
networks, also can involve the use of memos.
Possible uses for Memos are explanatory and descriptive texts that may be
memos: associated with other "objects" like quotations, codes, or other
memos. Memos can also "stand alone" – simply as part of a HU.
To take methodological
They can contain methodological notes; they can be used as a
notes
bulletin board to exchange information between team members;
As a "bulletin board" you can use them to write notes about the analytical process,
in team projects keeping a journal of to-dos. Memos may also serve as a repository
As a project planning for symbols, text templates, and embedded objects that you may
device. want to insert into PDs or other memos.

As a primary document One important usage for memos is as internal data sources for

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To create code lists primary documents, as described in “Using Memos as PDs” on
page 131.

Difference between Memos and Codes


Code names are (or should be) succinct, dense descriptors for
concepts emerging during the stage of closely studying the data.
They often reduce complex findings to crisp placeholders and/or
theoretically relevant concepts.
Beginners often stuff lengthy treatises into a code name, blurring
the distinction between codes, comments, and memos and thereby
mistaking codes for their more appropriate siblings.
If you find yourself using more than a few words as code word,
consider using memos or the code comment instead.
Like codes, memos have names. These names, or titles, are used
for displaying memos in browsers, and help to find specific
memos. Just like code names, a memo’s title should be short and
concise. Don’t mix the name with the content!

How Memos and Comments Differ


Memos are very similar to comments in that both are intended to
hold lengthy texts, as opposed to codes that are simply naming a
A comment is a concept. Comments exclusively belong to one entity. For example,
part of another object; the PD comment is part of the primary document.
a memo is an object by
itself. Comments are not displayed in any browser separately from the
object to which they are attached. Memos can be associated with
more than one object and have an additional type attribute, e.g.,
theoretical, methodological, commentary, etc. They can also be
free-standing, unlike comments.

Memo Content
Memos may use plain-text as well as Unicode or Rich Text. The
latter allows extended formatting and offers the option to insert
pictures, tables etc.

The Memo Editor


For displaying and editing memos, a modified text editor is used.
It is opened via the Memo Manager’s toolbar for an existing,
selected memo or when creating a new memo.
Below the toolbar, the editor includes a title and memo type field.
The default title assigned to a newly created memo is: “ME –
today’s date”. The title and the default type “Commentary” can be
changed by overwriting the default title or by selecting a different
memo type.

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Figure 38 - Memo: The memo editor offers a memo name and type field.

Various options are available. You can change the default memo
title and manage available memo types. You can also be prompted
for a title when creating a new memo. For details see “Section:
Memos” on page 343.
After having typed or changed something in the memo editor and
before closing the editor, save the contents if you want to keep it.
Click on the Save button or select MEMO/SAVE from the
editor’s menu.

To create a free memo


1. In the Memo Manager, click the CREATE NEW button or select
CREATE FREE MEMO from the HUEditor’s MEMOS menu.
2. A new memo with the default memo title is created. The
memo editor opens (if preferences are set accordingly).
3. Begin to type the memo. Change the memo title and type
according to your needs.
4. Save the memo content before moving on to do something
else by clicking on the Accept button. If you forget to save it,
you are reminded by the program to do so before closing the
editor.
If you prefer that all new entries or modifications to a memo are
saved automatically, you need to go to Setups and activate the
option: ‘Accept changes in browsers silently’ (EXTRAS/GENERAL
PREFERENCES/General).

“Memoing” – Attaching Memos to Data


Segments
The procedure to create and associate a memo with a data segment
or an existing quotation is similar to the coding procedures
described above (see “General Coding Procedure” on page 114).

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Creating a memo for a data segment
1. Select the part of the primary document for which you want
to write a memo.

2. Click the memo button in the primary document toolbar.


3. If the selected data segment does not resemble an existing
quotation, a new quotation is created and the memo is
attached. An editor opens and you can start to type.

Figure 39 – Creating a new memo for a data segment

4. Adapt the automatically generated memo type and title


according to your needs.
Note: You can customize the default values used for memo title
and type via EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/MEMOS.

To attach a memo to a data section


1. Select the part of the primary document to which you want to
attach the memo.
2. Open the context menu for the desired memo (for example, in
the Memo Manager).
3. Choose the option ATTACH MEMO from the context menu or
drag and drop the memo to the highlighted quotation.

To attach a memo to multiple quotations


One option is to drag a number of quotations from the Quotation
Manager onto a memo in the Memo Manager. By using the
Quotation Manager, one can comfortably browse and review
display quotations before attaching them to the memo.
Another option is to select from a list of quotations:
1. In the Memo Manager, select a memo.

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2. Choose menu option LINK MEMO TO:/QUOTATIONS from the
context menu or the Memos menu.
3. A window pops up showing all quotations that are currently
not linked to this memo. Select the quotations to be associated
with this memo. Click OK.
As a third option you can connect a memo and quotations visually
by using the Network Editor (see “To link more than two nodes”
on page 222).

Memo Types
Memos can be organized, sorted and filtered by the type attribute.
Several standard memo types are offered by ATLAS.ti (currently
commentary, method and theory). You can add new types or
modify existing ones. Memo types may either have a global or
local scope. Global types are available in all HUs; local memo
types are known only for the HU for which they have been defined.
Memo types are displayed and can be sorted in the Memo
Manager’s details view in an extra Type column.

To add or remove global memo types


1. Open the General Preferences
dialog and select the MEMOS tab.
2. In section ‘Global Memo
Types’ enter a new memo type in the entry field and click the
ADD button.

3. To remove a global memo type, select a memo type from the


list and click REMOVE.
4. Click APPLY and close General Preferences.
The default memo type is ‘Commentary’ unless you have set a
different default in the dialog. This default type is used for newly
created memos. To change the default type, select another memo
type and tick the box ‘use as default type’.

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To create a local memo type
When creating a new memo, simply overwrite the default memo
type displayed in the memo editor’s type field with a new type.
After saving the memo, this new type may also be used for other
memos inside this specific HU.

To make a local type global


Choose the menu option MISCELLANEOUS/MAKE TYPE GLOBAL from
the context menu or from the MEMOS main menu to make all types
of the selected memos global.

Using Memos as PDs


Memos can be assigned as primary documents. How you
implement this option in your work depends on the nature of your
project, your creativity, and methodological considerations. While
it is not always feasible to blend original data and interpretive
thoughts, there are situations where you might want to make use of
this feature:

• To analyze paraphrased material stored in memos.


• To analyze partly transcribed or summarized information about
graphic, audio or video data stored in memos.
• To be able to code your own thoughts and ideas stored in
memos.
• For added security (embedded in a password protected HU).
• As an internal data source, no references to external files are
needed.

Consequences of using memos as PD


Assigning a memo as primary document has two immediate
consequences:
• If you want to edit the memo’s content, you need to edit the
primary document. Once a memo has been assigned as a PD,
you can no longer edit the memo in the Memo Manager. The
reason is that, as a PD’s data source, the memo may be
referenced from quotations. Only the PD editing technology
guarantees the necessary synchronization after content
changes.
• All editing in the primary document also affects the memo.
The reason for this is that the data source for the Primary
Document IS the memo.

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The ‘PDs’ column in the Memo Manager indicates whether a
memo is used as primary document. The number displayed
indicates the number of PDs using the memo as a data source. A
dash (-) indicates that the memo is not used as a PD.

Figure 40 The PDs column shows how many PDs use the memo is used as the data
source.

To assign a memo as primary document


1. Create or select a memo in the Memo Manager.
2. Select the menu option
MISCELLANEOUS/USE AS PRIMARY DOC from the context menu
or the Memos menu. Or, drag the memo into the PD Manager.

Miscellaneaous Memo Goodies


Memo Preferences
You may specify a number of settings for memos via
EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES/MEMOS. See General Preferences
“Section: Memos” on page 343.

Dragging a Memo to Another Hermeneutic Unit


You can drag memos between HUs. This transfers the memo
(name, body, type), but none of its referenced quotations, codes,
etc., are migrated along.

Using Memos to Create a Code List


Using a “pseudo” memo allows you to bulk-create a large number
of free codes:
1. Create a new memo.
2. Type a list of codes with one code per line.
3. Save the memo.
4. From the MISCELLANEOUS menu, choose the option CREATE
CODES FROM SELECTED MEMO.
Codes in the memo’s code list that already exist are prefixed with
three exclamation marks. If such prefixed codes already exist, they
are ignored.

Drag & Drop Text to Create a Memo


While dropping text into the text pane of the Memo Manager or the
memo editor inserts the dropped text at the drop position, dragging
selected text from Word or other drag & drop-capable application
into the Memo Manager’s list part creates a new memo.

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The dropped text becomes the body of the memo and the first few
words are used as the memo’s name. Memo type AUTO indicates
that this memo was created automatically. See figure below.

Figure 41 – Drag & Drop text into the memo manager list.

Margin Drag & Drop


All objects populating the margin area (i.e., “margin objects”)
support drag & drop. The brackets visualize quotations segmenting
the document, and - depending on the context - the objects
attached to the brackets represent themselves or the link with the
bracketed quotation. A code appearing in the margin can be deleted
via its context menu (the code is affected itself) or it can be
unlinked from the quotation, hence affecting only the relationship
between the code and that specific quotation.
The effect of a drag & drop operation depends on the objects that
are involved as drag sources (those that are dragged) and targets
(those onto which objects are dropped).
A large variety of objects from the margin area can be dropped into
Margin Drag & the margin area. Furthermore, objects can also be dragged from
Drop can be toggled on other object managers and browsers. Objects can be dragged from
and off via General the margin into other windows and even into “foreign” applications
Preferences like Word™. In the latter case, the ATLAS.ti objects lose their
“Advanced Drag & ATLAS.ti specific “objectness” but at least they render into
Drop” something useful, e.g., a formatted title and rich text comment.

Move Linked Objects


When an object (e.g., a code, memo, or hyperlink) is dropped on a
bracket, a new link is created between the object and the quotation
represented by the bracket. In the figure below, the code ‘Water’ is
unlinked from its original quotation (red bracket) and linked to the
quotation of the target bracket.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 133


Moving code Water to
another bracket unlinks it
from its original quotation.

Figure 42 Moving a code link

Replace Linked Objects


When a margin object is dropped onto another margin object it is
replaced. It combines the operation described above with the
replacement of the dropped-on object. Three operations are
accomplished at the same time: the object is removed from its
original quotation, it is linked to the target quotation, and it
replaces the object it was dropped on (the latter is unlinked from its
quotation).
In the figure below, code ‘Water’ replaces code ‘Animal’.
Replacing a code: In the
margin drag a code from
one quotation onto
another code and the
target code is replaced.

Figure 43 – Moving & Replacing a code

Copy Linked Objects


An object in the margin is unlinked from its original quotation
when it is dropped onto another bracket or another margin object.
To keep the object from unlinking from its original bracket, hold
down the CTRL-key when dropping. This resembles dragging
objects from managers and browsers into the margin area, which
does not change existing links.
In the figure below, code ‘Water’ is linked to the quotation
visualized by a red bracket. Of course, the quotation does not need
to be “free”.
To copy linked objects:
hold down the Ctrl-key
and drag a margin
object (e.g., a code)
onto another bracket.

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Specialties – Merging Quotations
Dragging a bracket onto another bracket creates a new hyperlink
between the two (see “Creating Hyperlinks in Margin Area” on
page 255). However, by holding down the CTRL key you can
merge the quotations.

Figure 44 - Merge Quotations – Dragging the red quotation

Figure 45 - Merge Quotations – About to drop on the black quotation

After confirming, the merge dialog box appears:

you can see the result:

Figure 46 - Merge Quotations - Dropped and Merged

Note how all objects (code ‘Fire’ and a hyperlink) associated with
the red quotation have migrated to the merged quotation. The
former blue bracket has changed its color to red, which is
meaningless.

Sorting and Filtering


What are the main strengths of a computer? According to common
belief, these would be sorting and retrieving data. For such
techniques to be deployed successfully however, the data itself
must have attributes by which it can be ordered and filtered. A
variety of attributes can be used for filtering and sorting data. Many

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 135


entities within an HU can be filtered, e.g., primary documents,
codes, memos, and quotations.
Sorting and filtering primary documents, codes, memos, and
quotations can help you gain deeper insight into your data.
Sorting and filtering can be accessed via the HU editor's menu or the
Object Managers’ menus. The columns in the Object Managers’
report views may also be used for sorting. Some options for sorting
and filtering are common to all objects, while others are dependent
on the object’s type.

Sorting
Sorting is available via the Object Managers’ columns and the
main menus of the HU Editor and the Managers.

Sorting in Object Managers


Sorting is conveniently available in all Object Managers via the list
Click the header headers while in details view: clicking on a header “button” sorts
to sort the items. Click the list in either ascending or descending order.
again to reverse the
sort.
The column used for sorting is displayed in a darker shade. The
sort direction is visualized by an arrow in the header. In the status
bar, the sort criterion is displayed.
A double-click on the status bar’s sort field refreshes the current
sort. This is a useful option because newly added objects are
appended to the end of the list regardless of their correct position in
the sorted sequence.

Sorting via the menus


The Sort menu option is available in the object menus of the HU
Editor (Documents, Quotations, Codes, and Memos) and from the
corresponding Manager’s menu.
The figure below shows the Sort menu for codes with the current
sort criterion set to Name (which is also the default):

Figure 47 - Sort options for codes

In Object Managers, the currently selected sort criterion is also


displayed in the status bar (see Figure 48). After new items are

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added to the list, refresh the sort with a double-click on the status
pane’s sort field.

Overview of Sort Options


The following describes the sort options in more detail. Default
sort order: D = descending, A = ascending.

Sort Entity type Description Sort


criterion order
Name PDs, quotes, codes, Entity name (string) A
memos
Author PDs, quotes, codes, Author’s name (string) A
memos
Created PDs, quotes, codes, Creation date - or date of D
memos assignment for PDs. (date/time)
Modified PDs, quotes, codes, Modification date (date/time) D
memos
Density quotes, codes, me- Quotes, codes: number of links to A
mos objects of the same type
Memos: number of links to all
associated objects (i.e., quotes,
codes, and other memos)
Grounded codes, memos Number of associated quotations. A
ID PDs, quotes The system generated ID (number) A
Size quotes, memos Quotations: number of
lines/paragraphs
Memos: size of A
text
Media PDs Media type (i.e., audio, image, rich A
text, text, video)
Quotations PDs Number of quotations for the D
primary document.
Usable PDs Usability of the primary document D
Origin PDs Origin of data source A
(alphabetically)
Location PDs Redirected path (if used) A
Start Quotes The quotations’ start position A
Type Memos Memo type (string) A
PDs Memos Number of PDs using the memo as A
their data source (if any).

Filtering
The status bar of all Object Managers displays the current filter and
sort setting. The default filter criterion is "All".

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Current Filter

Current Sort

Figure 48 – Display of sort and filter settings in the status bar

It is possible to combine filtering and sorting (e.g., all "free" codes


sorted by the time of their creation).
The filter options are available in the object menus of the HU
Editor (Documents, Quotations, Codes, and Memos) and from the
corresponding Manager’s menu. The filter field in the status bar
offers a few additional options like reversing or removing the filter.
When a filter is active, the background color of the affected lists
and Object Managers changes.
The figure below shows the Filter menu for codes with the current
filter set to All (which is also the default):

Figure 49 - Available filter settings for codes

After setting a filter, the background color of the affected Object


Manager and drop-down list changes. You can modify this color by
changing the tool tip color via Windows display preferences. In the
figure below, the filter is set to abstract codes.
138 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
Current Filter

Current Sort

Figure 50 –Object Manager with active filter

Note: Most operations (e.g., display, printing, export) on sets of


objects include only the currently filtered set. For this reason, if a
Filters affect a filter was set for quotations, the output of “all” quotations would be
number of procedures restricted to the quotations currently present in the Quotation
Manager. Network Views are not affected by filter settings and
display all objects at all times. The margin area shows only the
filtered objects.
An overview of all filter options for all object types is provided
below.

Pattern Searches as Filter


New in ATLAS.ti 5 is a powerful pattern filter. Enter a GREP
pattern to filter all objects with names matching this pattern.
For example, if you have used names prefixed with “ATT:” for all
codes handling “attitudes”, the pattern “^ATT:” would filter all
those codes (the caret character ^ anchors the search at the
beginning of the name).
Enter “\[.*\]” to filter all items containing arbitrary text in brackets.
An overview of the available GREP expressions is listed in the
section “GREP Search” on page 147.

To Reverse a Filter
Choosing Toggle Filter from the menu or double-clicking the filter
field reverses the filter. The tilde symbol ~ indicates a negated
filter in the status bar.
By reversing the codes filter ‘Abstract,’ you can display all codes
that are not ‘Abstract,’ i.e., codes that do have quotations
associated with them

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Figure 51 – Negated Filter

To Remove a Filter
To deactivate a filter either select FILTER: ALL from the menu or
Press CTRL and double-click on the filter field while holding down the Ctrl-key.
double-click the filter
field to remove a filter.

Filter by Families
When double-clicking a family in any of the Family Managers, the
corresponding objects are filtered to the members of the selected
family. Double-click again to remove the filter.

Overview of Filter Options


Option Entity type Description
All PDs, quotes, codes, me- All objects are displayed (filter off)
mos
Pattern PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects matching the entered search
mos pattern
Only today’s PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects created today
mos
Only mine PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects created by the current user
mos
Co-Authors PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects created by any of the selected co-
mos authors
Families PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects belonging to a family
mos
Free PDs, quotes, codes, me- Objects that do no reference any other
mos objects
Commented PDs, quotes, codes Objects bearing a comment
Selected PD quotes, codes, memos Objects referring or belonging to the
currently selected primary document
PD-Memo PDs Memo used as primary document data
sources
Text PDs Textual primary documents (plain and
Rich Text)
Rich Text (file) PDs RTF encoded primary documents
Graphic PDs Graphical primary documents
Audio PDs Audio primary documents
Video PDs Video primary documents
Uses Mapping PDs Redirected primary documents
Renamed Quotes Renamed quotations
Hyperlinked Quotes Quotations linked to other quotations
Selected code Quotes Quotations coded with the currently
selected code
Abstract codes Codes Codes without quotations. Less selective
than "Free"
Super Codes Super codes
Types Memos Memos of a certain type

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A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 141
Special Tools

In this chapter a collection of miscellaneous tools is presented that


do not fit well under any of the other chapters. Included are tools to
search text, to automatically code text matching specified patterns,
to retrieve quotations for combinations of codes, to count words in
textual documents, to explore the components of a HU in a
hierarchically manner, and to remove redundantly coded
quotations.

Text Search
The Text Search Tool is used to search within primary texts for the
occurrence of specific text strings that match a designated string or
pattern.
The Text Search Tool offers three distinct methods entitled
Standard Search, Category Search and GREP Search to scan
primary texts for specified text patterns. The functionality of the
Text Search Tool is also fully integrated into the Auto-Coding Tool
(see “The Auto-Coding Tool” on page 149).
The search mode is automatically determined by the kind of search
string entered. Regular Expression search (GREP), however, must
be explicitly selected. If you need to know what GREP stands for
and what GREP searches are, a detailed explanation is provided at
“GREP Search” on page 147.

The Text Search Tool


To open the Text Search tool:
1. Load a primary text. You might
not see the Primary Document (PD) toolbar otherwise.
Click this button to
activate text search 2. Either click the text search
Short-cut: Ctrl-F button in the PD toolbar, select EDIT/SEARCH from the
main menu, or use the key combination CTRL-F.

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Figure 52 - The Text Search tool in standard search mode

Note: If the document is in Edit mode, Ctrl-F opens a Windows


standard text search. Use the menu option or the search button
instead.

Not all options are available for every type of search. For instance,
backward and case sensitive searches are not available for
Category Search.
Initially, the status bar displays the current search mode (in the
figure above: Standard Search Mode). During a search activity, this
is the place where you should look for warnings and messages.
A text search always starts from the current position of the text
cursor in the currently selected primary text. When the end of this
document is reached, you are asked if the search should continue
through the rest of the primary text documents.

Search Options
Two options are available to control the search mode.

Case Sensitive
Check the CASE SENSITIVE box if you want characters to match the
searched text exactly. If CASE SENSITIVE is selected, you will not
find "Love" when you search for "love".
This option is not available in Category Search mode.

GREP Mode
Checking the GREP box enables GREP mode. If unchecked, the
Search Tool is in "standard" mode. You may use the standard
wildcard * character even without GREP. More discussion on
GREP searches is provided at “GREP Search” on page 147.
This option is not available in Category Search mode.

Standard Search Mode


Use the standard search mode when you want to find exact,
specified strings of characters. Word boundaries are not recognized

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 143


in this mode. Hence, searching for "the" would also find instances
like "bother," "there," and "theater." Searches that recognize word
boundaries are available with the Category Search or by using
appropriate GREP patterns.

To start a standard search


1. Open the Text Search tool.

2. Enter a string into the entry field. The search string should
contain the special “pipe” character "|" as this initiates the
Category Search.
3. Uncheck GREP mode.
4. Set CASE SENSITIVE as needed.
5. Start the search by clicking the NEXT or PREVIOUS button.

Category Search
The Category Search method combines two powerful techniques.
Parallel search is a sophisticated method that handles textual
variations. You may specify a number of patterns that scan the text
simultaneously. Secondly, search expressions (“search swarms”)
can be stored as a search category and later reused. Search
categories are managed in search libraries.
Categories are Categories allow abstraction from the search string itself and
reusable, named permit easy re-use of complex expressions in later searches. With
search swarms. the simultaneous use of wildcards, a search request using a search
swarm might look as follows:
*caus*|why|*efore|since.
The individual elements of the search swarm are delimited by the
vertical bar character “|”. The bar can be read as a (Boolean) "OR."
The search defined above yields text passages including any of the
following strings: "because," "causes," "causation," "before," and
"therefore," "why," and "since."

Note: Do not mistake search categories for codes. Search


categories are shortcuts for complex search procedures, while
codes are concepts representing some level of interpretation.
However, when using search categories extensively and building

144 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


hierarchies of search categories, such a "para" taxonomy might
stimulate the construction of a matching network of codes.

Defining Categories
Search swarms that have proven useful can be assigned names
(search categories) in ATLAS.ti to facilitate re-use. For example,
CAUSE := *caus* | why | *efore | since

defines CAUSE as a placeholder for the original search swarm.


Therefore, instead of retyping lengthy search strings, the user may
later simply type the search category "$CAUSE" into the entry
field. The dollar sign is a special character that indicates that the
content of the CAUSE category is to be used for the search and not
the string "CAUSE" itself. Categories can be mixed with ordinary
strings to build complex search requests:
until|$CAUSE|when
Note: When defining a new category do not prefix its name with a
“$”.

As categories may be elements of other categories, recursive search


Create trees of arbitrary depth may be defined. Another advantage of
hierarchies of search categories besides being short and handy is that their contents can
swarms by embedding be modified later without changing a single character in other
existing categories. expressions using this category.

Hierarchies of Search Categories


Search categories can
build hierarchical $EMOTION
Categories
structures.
$POSEMO $NEGEMO
$LOVE $ANGER

love|loving|beloved|lover|

Search Swarm
Figure 53 - Hierarchy of Search Categories

The definition for the taxonomy above is as follows:


EMOTION := $POSEMO|$NEGEMO
POSEMO := $LOVE|etc.
NEGEMO := $ANGER
LOVE = love|loving|beloved|lover
Such category structures are efficient tools to exploit the literal
properties of the textual materials you use in your research. Of

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 145


course, this tool does not find relevant information beyond the
characters specified in the search.

How To Use Category Search


1. Open the Text Search tool.
2. Enter a new search swarm or select an existing category from
the library of search swarms by clicking on the drop down
button at the right of the entry field.
3. Click NEXT.
List of example search
categories in the
standard search
library.

Figure 54 – Example of Search Categories

When using Category Search, some of the controls become


disabled. Category Search cannot be combined with GREP mode,
can never be case sensitive, and the Previous button cannot be
used.

To define a new category


1. Open the Text Search tool.
2. Enter a new definition into the entry field using the following
syntax:
CATEGORY NAME:= <string or $category>|<string or $category>|
etc.
As soon as you press the NEXT button, a new category is created
and a search for the first occurrence starts. This category is now
available to you for the current work session. If the new category
should be available in the future, you need to save it to the search
library.

Managing Search Categories


On startup, ATLAS.ti loads a default library of search categories
Create search named srchbib.skt. You can update this library by adding new
libraries for different categories and removing or modifying existing categories. It is also
languages, different possible to create completely new search libraries that better fit
topics, different your requirements (different languages, domains, etc.).
projects, etc.
To manage categories, three options are available:
Click the search tool’s OPTIONS button for this menu:

146 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


LOAD CATEGORIES opens a file dialog window showing existing
search library files like searchbib.skt or srchbib.skt. If you select a
library in the file dialog window, the categories from that library
are added to the currently loaded categories.
To clear the internal database of search categories before loading
new ones, use the option Delete Category.
SAVE CATEGORIES stores the currently loaded and newly created
search categories in the default library file (srchbib.skt) or a new
file. If you choose a new name, be sure to give the file the
extension SKT, as in "dutch.skt".
DELETE CATEGORY opens a multiple selection list window. Choose
one or more categories to be removed from the internal database of
search categories. You can use the standard Windows techniques
for multiple selections using the CTRL, ALT, or SHIFT keys in
combination with the left mouse button.

GREP Search
GREP searches are GREP is a well-known tool in the UNIX environment. The original
very flexible. GREP tool printed each line containing the search pattern, hence
the acronym GREP: Globally look for Regular Expression and
Print.

Regular Expressions In ATLAS.ti, the results of a GREP search are not printed line-by-
efficiently exploit the line. Instead, the text matching the search pattern is highlighted on
syntactical properties the screen.
of the technical device The core of a GREP search is the inclusion of special characters in
called "text." the search string that control the matching process. GREP finds
instances in your data that match certain patterns.
The ATLAS.ti GREP search offers a subset of the Regular
Expression language used in sophisticated text search systems.

Supported Basic GREP Expressions


All GREP expressions supported by ATLAS.ti are shown in the
table below.

GREP Description
Expression
^ Anchors the entered pattern to the beginning of a line. If used as
the first character within brackets, it excludes the following
characters (or range) from the search.
$ Anchors the entered search pattern to the end of a line.
. Matches any (single) character

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 147


* Matches any number (including zero) of the preceding expression
+ Matches at least one occurrence of the preceding expression or
character
? Matches zero or one occurrence of the preceding expression or
character: stones? matches stone and stones
[] Matches a range or set of characters: [a-z] or [0-9] or [aeiou]. For
example: [0-9] finds all numeric characters, while [^0-9] finds all
non-numeric characters.
:d Matches any digit (equivalent to [0-9])
\ The escape character disables the special GREP functionality of
the following character. For example: \[ matches an opening
bracket.

In the following, a few search examples are presented showing the


matching GREP expression in the column on the right.

Examples of GREP Searches


Examples GREP
expression
Find text [of arbitrary length!] enclosed within brackets.
Note, that the brackets had to be "escaped" with "\", as they
are control characters themselves:
\[.*\]
Find all years between 2001 and 2004: 200[1-4]
Find all numbers with 2 digits at the end of a line or :d:d$
paragraph:
Find all "Meyer"s (spelled four different ways) M[ae][iy]er
Find all lines (paragraphs) starting with one arbitrary letter ^.:
followed by a colon: (If you search for a "d" following the
colon you will have to use the Escape character: ^.\:d
Otherwise, the letter “d” would be interpreted as a digit.)

To start a GREP search


1. Open the text search tool.
2. Enter a search pattern (Figure 55 shows an example).
3. Check the Use GREP box.
4. Click on the PREVIOUS or NEXT button.
The search expression
entered in the text search
window to the right finds all
3-digit numbers with the last
digit being a 7, 8, or 9. This
can be a useful search to
find certain social security
numbers or other personal
identification numbers.

Figure 55 - Using GREP search

The Case Sensitive option can be used in combination with a


GREP search.

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The Auto-Coding Tool
The Auto-Coding tool finds text passages, selects a specified
amount of text (e.g., the exact match, or spread to the surrounding
word, sentence, or paragraph), and then codes the passages with a
previously selected code.
Auto-coding is useful when coding structural information like
speaker turns in group interviews, or other sections that can easily
be identified by a text search.
Auto-coding allows you to quickly collect ideas that belong to a
certain concept on the basis of words or patterns found in the text.

Concepts
The Auto-Coding Dialog
Auto-Coding = Text The Auto-Coding tool combines the Text Search tool with an
Search + Automatic automatic segmentation and code assignment mechanism. To open
Segmentation + the Auto-Coding Dialog, select CODES/CODING/AUTOCODING from the
Coding main menu.

The New Code button


allows you to create
codes on the fly.

Figure 56 - The Auto-Coding Dialog

Note the New Code button, which allows you to create codes on
the fly for the auto-coding procedure.
The GREP search expression entered looks for occurrences of
string Speaker1 to Speaker5 located at the beginning of a paragraph
in all textual PDs. The whole paragraph will be selected before a
quotation is created and the code is assigned.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 149


Search Expression
The top part of the Auto-Coding Dialog window resembles the
Text Search tool (see “The Text Search Tool” on page 142). Search
expressions can be entered or search categories can be selected.
The search mode can also be set in a similar way as for the Text
Search tool.

Scope of Search
Scope of Search can be all textual PDs, the selected PD only, or it
may be restricted to a set of texts from a PD family. When you
choose “All current PDs,” the search starts at the beginning of the
currently selected primary text.

If "Selected PD" is chosen, the auto-coding process starts at the


current position of the text cursor.

Segment Size
When a matched string is found, the size of the segment to be
coded can be specified as follows:
• the Exact Match only
• the Word surrounding the matched string
• the Sentence surrounding the matched string
• the matched string expanded to paragraph boundaries (Single
Hard Return). This option is useful when using the new
paragraph model (see “Handling Legacy Documents” on page
71).
• the matched string expanded to a “paragraph” with one or
more empty lines as its delimiter (Multiple Hard Returns).
Use this option to code a paragraph when using the old
paragraph model or when you need to include the speaker ID
in a line preceding a paragraph (i.e., all speaker turns separated
by an empty line).
• All Text of the PD containing a match.

Test your Search Expression


The Auto-Coding tool creates a new quotation for every matched
Test search text passage that is not yet a quotation. A potentially large number
patterns with the Text of inadequate quotations could be produced by an imprecise search.
Search tool first.
For this reason, you should always test a search pattern by using
the Text Search tool first (see “The Text Search Tool” on page
142) or select the Confirm option and click Skip. This test will give
an indication if the final search will yield meaningful results. The

150 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


advantage of testing with the Text Search tool is that no quotations
are created.

How to Auto-Code
Auto-coding can be fully automatic or semi-automatic. The
sections below will clarify the difference and will show the
advantages of each method.

Fully Automatic Coding


1. Select the PD you want to code using the auto-coding
procedure. If you only want to auto-code the current text, load
the PD in question. If you want to auto-code all texts, load the
first PD and position the cursor at the beginning of the
document.
2. To open the Auto-Coding tool, choose CODES/CODING/AUTO
CODING from the main menu.
3. If no code is selected, select a code from the drop-down list at
the top of the Auto-Coding tool.
4. Enter a new search string or choose an existing search
category.
5. Specify the search scope, e.g. "Selected PD"
6. Specify the segment size.
7. Start the process by clicking START.

Semi-Automatic Coding
As it is not always desirable to let the program decide whether or
not to code a given text passage, you can control the process by
checking "Confirm always." Specific confirmation from the user
on each new code will then be requested.
An example for the usage of semi-automatic coding would be to
code for the concept “distress.” Indications that a person might be
distressed could be words like nervousness, tension, unease,
edginess, etc. In order to capture this, you would do the following:
1. Create a code with the name Distress.
2. Open the Auto-Coding tool.
3. Select the appropriate code.
4. In the search entry field define a new category by entering:
DISTRESS:= nervous*|tens*|uneas*|edg*|etc.

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5. Depending on your data set, select a suitable scope of search
(current PD, all PDs, or a specific PD family).
6. Select the segment size to be coded, e.g. sentence.
7. Check “Confirm Always” and click on the Start button.
8. Every time the program finds a piece of text that matches
your search category, it stops the search and highlights the
text it has found. You can then read the surrounding context
and decide whether the text passage really has something to
do with distress. If it does, click CODE IT, otherwise click SKIP
IT. The program continues to search for the next match.

You can uncheck the “Confirm always” box at any time and let
ATLAS.ti scan through the rest of your texts without prompting
you for further confirmation.

Brushing-up Results after Auto-Coding


Since no automatic search can guarantee 100% meaningful results,
the quotations created and assigned to the selected code during
auto-coding should be screened and modified if needed.

Checking and Modifying Quotations


1. Close the Auto-Coding tool.
2. Open both the Code Manager and the Quotation Manager.
3. Select the code you just used for auto-coding.
4. In the Quotation Manager, set the quotation filter to "Selected
Code".
5. Click the Created column header to find all recently created
quotations at the top of the list.
6. Browse through the quotations assigned to this code by using
the NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons in the Quotation Manager.
7. Modify or delete misaligned or inappropriate quotations. See
“Modifying Quotations” on page 113 and “Deleting
Quotations” on page 113.

Preparing Documents optimized for Auto Coding


The following instructions are useful for preparing transcriptions of
focus group sessions, questionnaires, or interviews. Such data
usually contains different speakers’ sections. The hints given here
also apply for other documents that include sections you wish to
identify for auto-coding.
It would be tedious to code speaker or section turns manually. Two
things are needed: a good “marker” for which to search and, once
the marker is found, a reliable identification of the unit (sentence,
paragraph) to be coded.
Insert easily identifiable markup in the text to let the auto-coding
pattern matcher do this for you. For proper markup, a little

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knowledge regarding the auto-coder’s search procedure is helpful.
In combination with a few formatting rules, documents can be
created that can readily support auto-coding quite a bit.
For the auto-coding tool to yield useful results, it is necessary to
properly structure the source text using unique identifiers.
Simple examples are:
• P: or <Peter>for a respondent with the name Peter
• 07-01-03letter for a letter written on the first of July 2003.
The identifier should be used exclusively to mark passages in the
text that indeed relate to the person or object identified. The plain
word Peter will likely also occur elsewhere in the text (for
instance, when another person is referring to Peter). The markup
"P:" or <Peter> however, is unlikely to occur elsewhere .
In order for the Auto-Coding tool to select a complete speaker
section, a section delimiter is needed. As discussed above, a
speaker or section turn will start with the speaker’s identifier
markup. The end of a section can either be marked by a hard return
(standard paragraph model) or an empty line (the “old” paragraph
model).
We recommend inserting an empty line (two hard returns) to
delimit sections. By doing this you can still use single hard returns
to segment a speaker section into paragraphs.
When auto-coding such a document, you would choose Multi
Hard Returns for extending the matched text.
Using <Peter> as the search pattern would then yield a quotation
including everything from <Peter> up to the empty line:

<Peter>Cutting! Cutting! Cutting!


I never wanted to be a hair stylist. Indeed I hate cutting hair.
I always wanted to be a lumberjack! [starts singing]

<Doreen>Oh Peter, I never knew you were so weird!

The Word Cruncher


This feature offers word “crunching” capabilities for a simple
quantitative content analysis. It creates a list of word frequency
counts for the selected or all (currently filtered) textual PDs. A stop
list and a list of ignorable characters can be used to control the
analysis.

Creating a Word Frequency Report


From the main menu, select DOCUMENTS/ MISCELLANEOUS/WORD
CRUNCHER, or click the main toolbar’s Word Cruncher button .
A property dialog opens offering a number of options that affect

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the procedure:

Figure 57 – Setting properties to start a word frequency count

You may specify a number of properties before starting the


frequency count.
Include Selected PD only: Select the scope of the count to be all
textual documents or the selected one only.
Use Built-in Tool: If you want to output the frequency count in
Excel compatible format, uncheck this option. The built-in tool is a
simple list window. In addition to the frequency count, size and
percentage for each word is shown. The built-in tool can only be
used for a selected PD.
Use comma to separated fields: When creating Excel compatible
output, you can use either a comma or a semicolon as the field
separator between the PDs’ frequency counts. You may want to
experiment with this option. If you find that Excel stuffs all output
into a single column when using the comma, use the semicolon
instead. This checkbox is disabled when the Built-In tool is
checked.
Stop list: Use a stop list to exclude words from the count. Instead
of enumerating every variant of a word, you can specify patterns.
You can create powerful stop lists for different languages, different
topics, and different levels of detail.
The user system folder (EXTRAS/EXPLORER/USER SYSTEM FOLDER),
contains a sample stop list with some regular expressions:

Expression Effect
:d+ excludes numbers of any length
-+ excludes strings of hyphens of arbitrary size
_+ excludes strings of underscores
0+ exclude sequences of zeros

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Clean text before counting – ignore: The characters specified in
this dialog will be removed from the source word before it is
counted. Example: including " eliminates the difference between
"Hello" and Hello.
Ignore case: If checked, upper and lowercase letters are ignored:
Hello, HELLO, and hello are not counted separately.
After all options are set, click the OK button.
The figure below shows the result when using the built-in tool for a
single PD.

Figure 58 Wordcruncher internal tool

If you have chosen to output the result as an Excel-compatible


table, then you are first prompted for a file name. You can either
accept the automatically created name or enter an alternate name.
Next, you are asked what to do with the output:

If you select the option Do nothing, then the frequency count is


saved as an Excel-compatible CSV file.
If you select Run file, then the file is opened in Excel.
Select Run file and remove later if you want to view the results in
Excel, but do not want to keep the file.
Of course, you need to have Excel installed to be able to see the
result.

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Use Excel™ for further
exploration of the
WordCruncher output.

Figure 59 – Word frequency count displayed in Excel

The Object Crawler


Use the Object Crawler to search for text and patterns in HUs, PDs,
and all other entities that make up an HU. The search can be
restricted to certain facets, like name, author, date, comments, and
content. Regular expressions (GREP) as well as Category Search
can be used as search expressions (see “GREP Search” on page
147 and “Category Search” on page 144).
Unlike the Text Search tool, the Object Crawler can search through
all objects and fields that contain text. The Text Search tool only
searches primary text documents. However, it finds all occurrences
of the entered search term(s) and highlights a match at its original
location. The Object Crawler stops at the first occurrence in an
object and highlights the hit in the results pane of the Object
Crawler window.

How To Use the Crawler


A Crawler search is a three-step procedure starting with entering a
query and specifying the scope (e.g., name, comment, etc), and
then selecting the object classes to be included in the search and, as
the third step, displaying the results.

Starting the Crawler


From the main menu, select TOOLS/OBJECT CRAWLER, or click the
Object Crawler button in the main toolbar.
The Object Crawler dialog starts with a page to enter the query and
specify the scope:

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Figure 60 - Object Crawler – Define Query

1. Enter a query. Regular expressions and search swarms can be


used (see “GREP Search” on page 147 and “Category
Search” on page 144)
2. Select the Search Scope.
3. Click the Select Objects button to proceed to the next page:

Selecting the Objects

Figure 61 Object Crawler – Select Objects

4. Select the objects to be included in the search. Clicking All


objects checks all other checkboxes.
5. Proceed with the next and last step by clicking Display
Results.

Displaying the result


All objects for which a corresponding match has been found are
displayed in the upper list pane. The Field column displays the

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 157


facet in which the match appeared. The selected hit – a PD - in the
figure below had its match in its comment. The hit itself is
emphasized by red-colored font and with angle brackets for easy
detection.

Figure 62 Object Crawler – Display Results

The results list can indeed be used like an Object Manager in a


variety of ways:
Double-clicking a hit in the results list activates the object. For
instance, double-clicking a quotation displays it in context in the
PD pane.
The list is also drag & drop capable: you can drag objects from the
list into a Network Editor or into a Text Editor.

The Query Tool


Searching for The Query Tool is used for retrieving quotations using the codes
quotations using codes they were associated with during the process of coding. This is
different from a text search: To search for occurrences of text that
You need the match a specified pattern or string, you have to use the search
Query Tool for queries command or the Object Crawler (see “Text Search” on page 142
using more than a and “The Object Crawler” on page 156).
single code. The simplest retrieval of this kind (“search for quotations with
codes”) is what you frequently do with the Code Manager: double-
clicking on a code retrieves all its quotations. This may already be
regarded as a query, although it is a simple one. The Query Tool is
more complex in that it can be used to create and process queries
that include combinations of codes.
A query is a search expression built from operands (codes and code
families) and operators (e.g. NOT, AND, OR, etc.) that define the
conditions that a quotation must meet to be retrieved (e.g., all
quotations coded with both codes A and B).

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By selecting codes or code families – (i.e., the operands or
descriptors) and operators, a query can be built incrementally
which is instantaneously evaluated and displayed as a list of
quotations. This incremental building of complex search queries
gives you an exploratory approach toward even the most complex
queries.

The Query Tool Window


The Query Tool is launched by clicking the Query Tool button
, by choosing CODES/OUTPUT/QUERY TOOL, or TOOLS/ QUERY TOOL
from the HU Editor's main menu.

Figure 63 - The Query Tool

The Query Tool has the following main components:


The operator toolbar [1], located near the left margin of the
window.
The code-family pane [2] in the upper left lists code-families to be
used in queries.
The codes pane [3] below the code-family pane contains all
current codes (set filters do apply).
The term-stack pane [4] in the upper right displays the stack of all
expressions entered in the current query. If more than one entry is
visible, there are arguments still waiting to be used in the query.
The topmost entry is the current query and its result is displayed in
the results list [5] located in the lower right of the window.

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Above the term-stack pane are several buttons for manipulating the
stack: swapping or duplicating terms, clearing the stack, etc.
Close to the results list are two buttons for removing unwanted hits
and creating a report.
Directly below the term-stack pane is a feedback pane [6]
displaying the topmost entry of the term stack.

Operands
Operands (also called arguments or descriptors) and operators are
the only ingredients of queries necessary for the Query Tool.
Parentheses or other characters are not needed to construct valid
queries.

Basic Operands
Two sorts of basic or atomic operands may be used in a query:
Codes and code families.
A code represents a set of quotations, while a code family yields
the quotations of all the codes that its members have. In other
words, a family is interpreted as its member codes connected by the
Boolean operator OR. Selecting a code family F1 which contains
five codes C1-C5 is equivalent to the query: "C1 OR C2 OR C3
OR C4 OR C5".

Complex Operands
"Operand" does not only apply to basic descriptors. An operand
can be any expression that itself is used as an argument. An
expression "A AND B" may be used in a more complex query as
an operand: "NOT(A AND B)", "(A AND B) OR (C AND NOT
D)", etc.
All types of operands can be freely mixed in a query using any of
the operators described below.

Operators
Three sets of operators are available. They are located within the
toolbar at the left edge of the Query Tool.
Boolean operators allow combinations of keywords according to
set operations. They are the most common operators used in
information retrieval systems.
Semantic operators exploit the network structures that were built
from the codes.
Proximity operators are used to analyze the spatial relations (e.g.,
distance, embeddedness, overlapping, co-occurrence) between
coded data segments.

Note: You can display a short help message for each operator by
right clicking on its corresponding button in the toolbar.

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Boolean Operators
Four Boolean operators are available with the Query Tool: OR,
XOR, AND, and NOT.
OR, XOR, and AND are binary operators which need exactly two
operands as input. NOT is a unary operator and needs exactly one
operand. However, as stated above, the operands themselves may
Boolean Operators be of arbitrary complexity. Codes, code families, or arbitrary
expressions can be used as operands: "(A OR B) AND (NOT C
AND D)".

OR
OR button The OR operator retrieves all data segments (i.e., quotations) that
are coded with any of the codes used in the expression. Example:
"All quotations coded with 'Earth' OR 'Fire'". As arguments can
themselves be arbitrary expressions, another formulation is: "All
quotations that are retrieved by any of the expressions the query
combines." Example: "All quotations coded with 'Earth' OR coded
by both 'Fire AND Water'."
Note: the OR operator potentially generates MANY hits. It has
high "recall" (a lot is retrieved), but low "precision" (many of the
retrieved quotations may not make sense).
XOR
XOR button The OR operator does not really match the everyday usage of
"OR." Its meaning is "At least one of…," including the case where
ALL conditions match. The XOR operator, in contrast, asks that
"EXACTLY one of…" the conditions must meet. It translates into
everyday "either-or." Example: "All quotations coded with
EITHER 'Earth' OR 'Fire' (but not with both)."
AND
AND button The AND operator finds quotations that match ALL the conditions
specified in the query. Example: "All quotations coded with 'Earth'
AND 'Fire'." The AND operator is very selective and often
produces an empty result set. "Precision" of this operator is high,
but the "recall" is rather low. It produces best results when
combined with less restrictive operators or when the overall
number of the available text segments is large.
NOT
NOT button The NOT operator tests for the absence of a condition.
Technically, it subtracts the findings of the non-negated term from
all data segments available. Given 120 quotations in the HU and 12
quotations assigned to code "Fire," the query "NOT Fire" retrieves
108 quotations - those which are not coded with "Fire." Of course,
the operator can be used with an arbitrary expression as in the
argument "NOT (Earth OR Fire)" which is the equivalent of
“neither Earth nor Fire.”

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Venn diagrams are
descriptive schemes for A or B not (A or B)
illustrating the different set
operations associated with A xor B
Boolean operators. Q1 Q4

A Q3 B Q5
Q2

A and not B A and B not A and B

The rectangle encloses the set of all retrievable quotations, e.g. the
"document universe."
The two circles represent two codes A and B. Q1 to Q5 are
quotations coded with A, B, or none (Q5).
Figure 64 - Boolean queries depicted as Venn diagrams

Semantic Operators
The operators in this section exploit connected codes resulting
from previous theory-building work. While Boolean-based queries
are extensional and simply enumerate the elements of combined
sets (e.g., LOVE or KINDNESS), semantic operators are
The Semantic Operator intentional, as they already capture some meaning expressed in
buttons appropriately linked concepts (e.g., SUB(POSITIVE
ATTITUDES)).
SUB
SUB button The SUB (or DOWN) operator traverses the network from higher
to lower concepts, collecting all quotations from any of the sub
codes. Only "transitive" relations between the codes are processed;
all others are types ignored. When building a terminology from
your codes, use the ISA relation for sub-term links.
Example: "All quotations coded with Magic or any (immediate or
indirect) sub-term of Magic". Like the OR operator in the set of
Boolean operators, the SUB may produce large result sets.
However, unlike the OR operator, because you make use of a
theory using SUB, the "precision" is much better (i.e., you get only
what you expect). Of course, if your network contains dubious
connections ("computer ISA intelligent entity"), the quality of your
retrieval will decline.
UP
UP button The UP operator looks at all direct Super Codes of the selected
code. Unlike the SUB operator, it does not recursively traverse the
structure. Only the next level is considered.

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SIBlings
SIBlings button The SIBlings operator finds all quotations that are connected to the
selected code or any other descendants of its parents. Example:
"All quotations coded with Horror %4 or any other value of
Horror." This works because all values of "Horror" have a
common ancestor ("Dimension: Horror").

Note: Only codes can be used as operands for semantic operators.

Figure 65 - A hierarchy of concepts suitable for semantic retrieval

With such a network of codes the following queries would make


sense (Q1 to Q8 = quotations:
SUB (Positive Attitude) => {Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5}
SUB (Negative Attitude} => {Q6, Q7, Q8}
SUB (Attitude) => {Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8}.

Proximity Operators
Proximity describes the spatial relation between quotations.
Quotations can be embedded in one another, one may follow
another, etc. The operators in this section exploit these
relationships. They require two operands as their arguments. They
differ from the other operators in one important aspect: proximity
operators are non-commutative. This property makes their usage a
little more difficult to learn.
Non-commutativity requires a certain input sequence for the
The Proximity Operator operands. While "A OR B" is equal to "B OR A", this does not
buttons hold for any of the proximity operators: "A FOLLOWS B" is not
equal to "B FOLLOWS A". When building a query, always enter
the expressions in the order in which they appear in their natural
language manifestation.

Another important characteristic for these operators is the


Because of non- specification of the operand for which you want the quotations

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 163


commutativity, every retrieved. "A WITHIN B" specifies the constraint, but you must
proximity operator also specify if you want the quotations for the As or the Bs. This is
comes in two versions. done implicitly by the sequence. The code (or term) that is entered
first is the one in which you are interested. If B’s quotations are
requested, you have to enter "B ENCLOSES A" using the query
language described below.

The rectangular areas Primary document P1


symbolize overlapping A
and adjacent quotations. 1
Q1
2
3
4 Q4
5
6
7
8 Q5
9
10 Q2
11 B
12
13 Q3
14
15
C
16

Figure 66 - Visualizing the spatial relations between segments

In the scheme above the quotations Q1…Q5 are referenced by the


codes A, B, C.
Sample queries:
B overlaps A -> {Q3, Q4}
A overlapped by B -> {Q1, Q2}
C overlaps B -> {Q5}
A within C -> {Q2}
A overlaps C -> {Q3}
C follows A -> {Q5}
B overlaps C -> {Q3, Q4}

Embedding Operators
The embedding operators describe quotations that are contained in
one another and that are coded with certain codes.
WITHIN
WITHIN button A WITHIN B retrieves all quotations coded with A that are
contained within data segments coded with B.

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ENCLOSES
ENCLOSES button A ENCLOSES B retrieves all quotations coded with A that contain
quotations coded with B.

Overlap Operators
The overlap operators describe quotations that overlap one another.
OVERLAPPED_BY
OVERLAPPED_BY button A OVERLAPPED_BY B retrieves all quotations coded with A
that are overlapped by quotations coded with B.
OVERLAPS
OVERLAPS button A OVERLAPS B retrieves all quotations coded with A that
overlap quotations coded with B.

Distance Operators
The distance operators describe a sequence of disjoint quotations.
The maximum distance in paragraphs may be specified.
FOLLOWS
FOLLOWS button A FOLLOWS B retrieves all quotations coded with A that follow
quotations coded with B.
PRECEDES
PRECEDES button A PRECEDES B retrieves all quotations coded with A followed by
quotations coded with B.

The Co-occurrence Operator


CO-OCCURRENCE
CO-OCCURRENCE button Co-occurrence is essentially a short-cut for a combination of all the
basic proximity operators except FOLLOWS and PRECEDES.
A CO-OCCURRING WITH B: Find all quotations that co-occur
with B.
Note: the procedures used for calculating cooccurrence for two
codes is also used in the Network Editor to imort co-occurring
codes. See “Import Co-occurring Codes” on page 226.

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The Query Language
Queries are built step-by-step from operands and operators using
the principle of Reversed Polish Notation (RPN). This sounds
complicated, but it is actually quite easy.
RPN, invented by Polish mathematician Lukasiewicz, does not
require parentheses to control the priority of operators, nor does it
require any other characters like commas, periods, etc. Every
click produces a meaningful result and it is impossible to create
Good ol' HP 19C using syntactically wrong queries.
RPN and it’s still working!

Operands First, Operators Next


The most important point to understand about RPN is the order in
which operands and operators of a search expression are entered.
Using RPN, operands (codes, etc.) are entered first, followed by
one or more operators. This is an unusual method for most of us
who are familiar with notations where operators are placed
between the operands, as in "3 + 5". Most calculators use this type
of notation, also called "infix" notation.
Infix notation: good for Two aspects must be distinguished: how we read expressions and
reading. how we formulate them with a "point and click" language. The
infix notation is usually easier to read, but the "postfix" notation is
Postfix notation: good
far easier to use when creating queries using mouse-controlled
for clicking.
direct manipulation user interfaces like Windows.

An Arithmetic Example
Here are some simple arithmetic examples using an RPN
calculator:
Arithmetic expression RPN expression
Example 1: 3 + 4 34+
Example 2: 3 + (4 * 5) 345*+
Example 3: (3 + 4) * 5 34+5*

Note: No parentheses are needed in expressions using RPN


notation. The precedence of the operators is controlled solely by
the order in which operands and operators are entered.

Let’s take a look at the changing contents of the term “stack”


during the input of example 2’s operands and operators:

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If there is only one operand Note how every operand entry is pushed down the stack and how
on the stack, entering a every operator entered takes the appropriate number of operands
two-argument operator like from the stack and pushes the result of the operation back to the
AND will produce an error- top of the stack. Both operators (* and +) used in the example
message. need two operands. The multiplier "*" takes the topmost two
elements from the stack (5 and 4) and pushes the result "20" back
on the stack. The subsequent “+”takes the remaining two
operands (20 and 3) from the stack, calculates the result, and
pushes the result 23 back onto the stack. The stack grows with
every entry of an operand and it shrinks with every operator
entered.
The following shows the execution of example 3:

Despite its seeming peculiarity, RPN is actually a very common


procedure with all mouse & click interfaces. You use this
technique all the time, e.g., when working with text software: First
you select a text passage (the operand), THEN you would press the
delete button (the operator).

Creating a Query with the Query Tool


The result of any query The retrieval of quotations with the Query Tool differs from the
is a set of quotations. arithmetic example above by the result in which we are interested.
We are really not interested in the operands (codes, code families)
themselves, but in the set of quotations that is the result of
evaluating an operand. By formulating a query “A OR B,” this is
what we really mean: “Quotations coded with code A OR
quotations coded with B.” Therefore, entering the operand code
“X” displays all quotations which were coded with “X” in the
results list. And even this list of the quotations’ short names is not
the result for which we are looking. With yet another step, we can
generate a report listing the full quotations or we can display each
quotation in the context of its PD for further refinement.
To assemble a query with the Query Tool, you also select the
operands first, then the operators.
The simplest query is one without any explicit operators at all: Just
double-click on a code or code family. The result (if any) is
immediately displayed in results list.
Now double-click on another code or code family. The same thing
happens: the result for this operand is displayed.
Starting from such simple examples, you can readily construct a
Build complex more complex query: for example, click on the OR operator (the
queries incrementally topmost in the left toolbar). The combined result is instantly
with immediate displayed in the results list.
feedback after each

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step.

A Boolean Query
The example below uses the HU “The Sample.hpr5.” Please load
and display this HU while reading the following. It can be found in
the ATLAS.ti samples folder, easily accessible via
EXTRAS/EXPLORER/SAMPLES FOLDER.
Our sample query, using Boolean operators, is this: “Find all
quotations coded with either code EARTH or code MAGIC.”
1. Open the Query Tool by clicking on the binoculars button
in the main toolbar.
2. Double-click on the “Earth” code. The Query Tool displays
the following entries:

The previously empty term stack now displays code “Earth”.


The results pane lists all quotations for code Earth.

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3. Double-click on the code “Fire”.

Now there are two entries in the term stack, codes “Fire” and
“Earth.” The feedback pane displays the active query, code “Fire”.
The results of this query are shown in the results pane; the 12
quotations associated with the code “Fire.” With two operands on
the term stack, we can combine them with an appropriate operator.
The intention was to retrieve all quotations coded as “Earth” or
“Fire.”

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 169


4. Click on the OR operator to combine the two expressions
from the stack:

The term stack now contains one term, OR(“Earth”,”Fire”), again,


now the combination of the two codes. This term can be used as an
operand to further extend the query, e.g. to negate the expression.
But we will stop here for now.
The feedback pane displays the query in infix notation, as we
would have entered it into a regular calculator (“Earth” OR “Fire”).
The results pane lists 15 quotations that have been coded with code
“Earth” or with code “Fire,” or with both codes. You can look at
the quotations in the context of the document by clicking on a
quotation in the list, or you can create a report.

Viewing results in context


1. Make sure that the Query Tool does not completely obstruct
the area where PDs are displayed.

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2. Click on a quotation in the results pane.
3. The quotation is highlighted in the primary document pane:

Figure 67 Displaying a hit in context

Output of Query Results


Before printing the quotations found with the query, you can
optionally remove quotations that you don’t want.

Cleaning up the Hit List


Before creating a report of all the quotations found by the query,
you have the option to remove entries from the hit list. You can
remove unwanted hits from the list using the erase button
above the printer button, right next to the results pane. You could,
of course, reformulate your query to improve the precision.
This is how you clean up the hit list:
1. Select an unwanted quotation in the hit list
2. Click the ERASE button.

Creating a Report

To print all hits found by a query, click the PRINTER button


to the right of the results list.
Select one of the following report options:
• LIST: Print a list of all quotations
in a compact format showing only the quotations’ names.
• LIST – INCLUDE COMMENTS: Same
as LIST but includes the quotations’ comments if any.
• FULL CONTENT: Output the
complete text of the quotations.
• FULL CONTENT – INCLUDE
COMMENTS: Same as FULL CONTENT but includes the quotations’
comments if any.
Then, choose whether the output should be displayed in a text
editor, saved to disk, or printed.

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More Query Examples
This section provides additional practical examples for effective
queries. All examples are based on the HU “The Sample.”
Ideally, you should follow along Example 1 by clicking your way
through the actual exercise to familiarize yourself with the
ATLAS.ti Query Tool. You may try to find your own solutions for
Examples 2 and 3 before reading through their step-by-step
instructions. Working through these exercises should give you a
better understanding of the Query Tool and its potential.

Note: To check if you have entered everything correctly, the


number of hits are listed after each step. If the numbers do not
match, but you are sure that you entered everything correctly, it
could be that your sample HU has been modified in the meantime

Example 1: How to Formulate a Boolean Query


Task: “Retrieve all quotations coded either with any of the codes
included in the BIG FAMILY code family or with those in the
MAGIC STUFF code family, but exclude those coded as MAGIC
3.”

Step-by-step instruction:
1. Double-click code-family BIG FAMILY. The results pane
immediately displays 13 hits.
2. Double-click code-family MAGIC STUFF. The results list
displays all quotations coded with codes belonging to this
code-family (26 hits). Two operands (BIG FAMILY and
MAGIC STUFF) are now displayed on the term stack.

3. Click the XOR operator and


watch the results of applying the XOR operator on the two
previously entered operands. The results pane displays 25
hits. The term stack shows one operand term that can be used
in the following steps: XOR (“Big Family”,“Magic stuff”)
4. Double-click code MAGIC 3. For easy navigation, click with
the mouse into the code list pane and then press the letter ‘M’
on your keyboard. The results pane displays all quotations
coded with 'Magic 3' (16 hits).

5. Click the NOT operator .


The results list now displays all quotations that are not coded
with MAGIC 3 (e.g., the rest = 105 hits). We now have two
operands in the "stack" and may use another - binary –
operator to combine these two.

6. Click on the AND operator .


The following entry is displayed in the feedback pane:
(("Big Family" || "Magic stuff") & NOT "Magic 3")

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The query results pane displays 10 hits that can now be inspected
more closely.

Example 2: How to formulate a query with semantic


operators
Task: “Show me all quotations coded as MAGIC or any of its sub-
terms, but not including quotations associated with code BLACK
MAGIC.”

Figure 68 Magic network

Step-by-step instruction:
1. Double-click code MAGIC. Only one quotation is directly
referenced by this code, so one hit is displayed in the results
pane.
2. Click the SUB operator. The
results list fills up significantly (21 hits).
3. Double-click code BLACK MAGIC. Result: Nothing!
4. Select the NOT operator.
Result: Everything (121 hits)!
5. Select the AND operator. Of
course: 21 hits.
The feedback pane displays: (SUB "Magic" & NOT "Black
Magic").

Note: Example 2, at first glance, may not seem like a particularly


clever query. But with expanding analysis, it could be that more
and more quotations are assigned to the code BLACK MAGIC. If
the query was saved as a Super Code and reused at a later point in

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 173


time, this would result in a different set of quotations (see “Super
Codes” on page 175 for further detail).

Example 3: Creating a query using proximity operators


Task: “Show me all quotations coded with MAGIC or any of its
sub-terms that are embedded within larger contexts coded with
HORROR %4.”

Step-by-step instruction:
1. Double-click code MAGIC (1 hit).
2. Click the SUB operator (21
hits).
3. Double-click code HORROR
%4 (10 hits).
4. Click the WITHIN operator (7
hits).
5. The query in infix notation
reads as follows:
(SUB "Magic" WITHIN "Horror %4")

Note: When using distance operators (such as "FOLLOWS" or “IS


FOLLOWED BY”), the maximum distance in terms of paragraphs
between two quotations can be specified in the lower left of the
Query Tool. The appropriate count needs to be entered before
entering any of the distance operators.

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Super Codes
Super Codes are a convenient way to store queries. Super Codes
"Intelligent" Super are very similar in look and feel to normal codes, with one
Codes compute their important difference: instead of “hardwired” connections to
quotations “on demand”. quotations, Super Codes store a query to compute their virtual
references whenever needed.
They “automatically” change their behavior during the course of
theory building. If you have a Super Code “All about Magic”
with a query “SUB Magic” and later add another sub code
“White Magic,”, all quotations to which the latter code refers are
also retrieved by the (unchanged) query of “All about Magic.”
Super Codes can be clicked on in the code list like any other code
and they will display their quotations in an identical way.
Normal codes are “hard-
wired” to their quotations.

Figure 69 Code hard-wired to quotations

Super Codes
automatically update.
Query X

Super codes are displayed in the Code Manager just like regular
codes and can be recognized either by a red text color or by their
red symbol, if images are switched on in the Views menu. The list
of quotations associated with the Super Code can be displayed with
a double-click, just as for any other code. Frequencies (density) are
not indicated in the list view for performance reasons. Instead, an
asterisk (*) replaces the frequency count. The reason for this is that
a Super Code is dynamic and its density/frequency count changes
as soon as you modify any of the codes contained in the query of
the Super Code. For the same reason, Super Codes are not
displayed in the margin area. ATLAS.ti 5, however, offers the
possibility to create a regular code from a Super Code (see
“Snapshot Codes” on page 177).
Super Codes can contain Super Codes can be used in code families, Network Views, and,
Super Codes can last but not least, as powerful operands in queries, allowing you to
contain.... incrementally build complex queries.

Creating Super Codes


To create a Super Code, you must have already constructed a query
using the Query Tool which is displayed in the term stack. Note
that because Super Codes are “intentional,” you can also create a
valid and useful Super Code with an empty results list (which
might well change in a later stage of your analysis).
A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 175
To create a Super Code
1. Click the "Super-Code" button.
2. Enter a name for the new Super Code or accept the default
name created from the query expression. Click OK.
3. The newly created Super Code immediately appears in the list
of codes and can be used for new queries (and Super Codes)
right away.
A default comment for the new Super Code is also created showing
the assigned query in infix notation.

Figure 70 A super code displayed in the Code Manager

Auto-Optimization of Super Code Queries


In order to take into account quotations that were manually
removed from the hit list, the query must be modified accordingly
before a Super Code is created. Otherwise it would display the full
set retrieved by the original query. To accomplish this task, a
“suppressor” code is created, which refers to the quotations
removed from the hit list. This suppressor code is negated and then
ANDed with the original query.
Example: The original query “All quotations coded with Sanity or
Health” (Sanity OR Health) yields 4 quotations 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and
3:1. From the hit list, quotation 1:1 and 1:3 are removed. The query
is now modified by creating a new “suppressor” code **Q1
referencing 1:1 and 1:3. The original query is modified as follows:
(Sanity OR Health) AND NOT (**Q1)
And returns exactly what you want: quotations 1:2 and 3:1.
Both the Super Code's and the suppressor code's automatically
created comment reflect their mutual dependency.

Note: A suppressor code cannot be deleted before the referring


Super Code is deleted.

What You Cannot do with Super Codes


As Super Codes are not directly associated with quotations, certain
restrictions apply.

176 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Coding
The most important constraint is that you cannot associate them
with quotations directly. Therefore, Super Codes are not presented
Supercodes cannot when doing "code by list," and drag & drop onto data selections is
used for manual prohibited.
coding.

Merging
Code Merge operations including Super Codes are also not
possible.

Prevent Cycles
If you created a Super Code whose query contains a reference to a
code family, you cannot assign this Super Code to the code family
later. This would create a cyclic structure and is therefore
disallowed.

Snapshot Codes
A Snapshot Code is a normal code that records the current state of
a Super Code by way of “hard-wired” links to the derived
quotations. By creating a snapshot from time to time, you can
analyze the development of a Super Code.
Unlike the Super Code, a code created by the snapshot is displayed
in the margin area and can be used for further coding. The default
snapshot code names are suffixed with [SN<number>].

How to create a snapshot


1. Select a Super Code in the Code Manager.
2. From the "CODES/MISCELLANEOUS" menu, select option CREATE
SNAPSHOT.
3. The newly create code appears in the Code Manager.

Scope of Query
You can specify the documents that are to be considered in any
subsequent query. By default, the query's "document universe" is
all PDs currently filtered in the HU Editor. Clicking SCOPE
opens another window that shows the PDs in the lower left pane
and the PD families in the upper left. As PD families can be looked
at as nominal variables, it is easy to pre-select "all interviews with
male interviewees aged between twenty and thirty from small
towns.
A restricted set of operators is offered (note that only Boolean
operators make sense here) and can be used to construct scope
selection queries in much the same way as the query itself.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 177


The scope is not stored as part of a Super Code's query
specification. When you process the query of a Super Code later,
the complete textbase is queried by default.

Figure 71 - Defining the scope of queries

In the Scope of Query window above, the PD family “Textual


docs” was selected. The results list below displays all quotations
from the PDs that are members of this family. It does not show the
PDs themselves.
PD families and PDs can be combined.

Additional QueryTool Functions


Stack Management
Several functions are available in pocket calculator style as a series
of buttons. Other functions can be activated by context menus
opened in one of the list panes.

Figure 72 – Query Tool Stack Functions

Clear the complete term stack of expressions.


Swaps the two top elements of the stack. Use if you mix up the
input order.

178 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


"Push" a copy of the topmost element onto the stack (in other
words: duplicate it). This is a useful feature if you need to
replicate a complex expression.
If you created new coding that affect the current query while the
Query Tool is open, you have to click RECALC to reprocess the
query.
UNDO removes the topmost entry from the stack. This is
convenient if you clicked on the wrong code.
Redo pushes the last removed entry back onto the stack.

Note: The functions above are also available from the context
menu of the term stack pane.

More Functions

Figure 73 – Query Tool Miscellaneous Functions

The two distance operators FOLLOWS and PRECEDES use a


certain number of paragraphs/lines as the maximal distance
between two quotations to be considered as following one another.
Use this option to refresh the list of codes and code families. This
should rarely be necessary.
Define the set of PDs that form the basis for a query (cf. “Scope of
Query” on page 177).

Context Menus
Several context menus are available in the various panes of the
Query Tool that complement the functions available via the
buttons. Most items in the context menus serve an informational
need.
The code family pane's context menu has a single command:
Display Codes. Select to view the member codes of the selected
code family.
The code pane's menu offers information about the selected code
neighbors, the term (i.e., query) if it is a Super Code, embedding,
embedded and co-occurring codes.

The results pane’s menu offers information about the neighbors


(codes, other quotations, memos), embedding, embedded, or co-
occurring codes of a selected "hit." A further option offers the
possibility to remove the selected hit from the results list.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Special Tools • 179


The context menu for the term stack pane resembles the stack
function buttons described above.

180 • Special Tools A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The Object Explorer
Although the structures that can be created with ATLAS.ti are not
necessarily restricted to hierarchical trees, the ATLAS.ti Object
Explorer provides a hierarchical view of the HU and all of the
objects that it references.
Main purpose of the Object Explorer is to serve as a hierarchical
content table, which may be used to navigate between the different
parts of the HU. Unlike the “pure” Object Managers that display
only one type of object, the Object Explorer allows an integrated
and structured display of all heterogeneous objects that make up an
HU. These are PDs, quotations, codes, memos, families, and
networks. The display, though, is not strictly hierarchical. You will
notice some redundancy when expanding the tree view. For
instance, quotations are listed under each PD. As PDs can also be
members of PD families, their quotations appear there as well.
The upper pane displays
the tree-structured
contents of the HU. The
text pane below displays
the comment that is
associated with the
activated object.

Figure 74 - The Object Explorer

The upper pane displays the tree-structured contents of the HU.


The text pane below displays the comment that is associated with
the activated object.
The root object of the tree is, of course, the HU itself. The direct
branches from this root are: Primary Docs, Codes, Memos, Primary
Doc Families, Code Families, Memo Families, and Network
Views.

Using the Object Explorer


The Object Explorer can be launched by clicking on the button
in the main toolbar or by selecting EXTRAS/OBJECT EXPLORER from
the main menu.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 181


Expanding and Collapsing Branches
You can expand and collapse the branches of the Object Explorer
tree. If a branch can be expanded, a plus sign is displayed to the left
of the object, unless this is switched off via VIEWS/HAS BUTTONS.
Expanded branches are indicated by a minus sign. You can expand
or collapse a branch with a mouse click on the plus or minus sign.
Below a partly expanded branch for memo families is shown.

Expanding the Primary Docs branch displays the PDs; expanding


this branch displays quotations, expanding those displays codes,
memos, and other associated quotations.
Expanding the Codes branch displays all codes and their
connections to other codes. Following the code names, the
semantic relation connecting the code with its parent code is
shown:

Each code appears at least once. This means that all codes are
listed directly under the “Codes” branch, but may also appear
further down in the hierarchy if they are connected to other codes.
The order in the hierarchy is determined by the kind of relation you
have used. If a directed, i.e. a transitive relation like the <is part
of> relation was applied, codes are displayed hierarchically: the
target code becomes the higher order code and the source code(s)
the lower order code(s).

Codes linked via


transitive relations as
shown in the figure to
the right are displayed
in hierarchical order in
the Object Explorer and
Code Forest.

When using symmetric relations, the codes appear in at least two


places since the direction/causal relation cannot be determined.

182 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Associated memos (if applicable) are displayed under the code
branch.
Expanding Super Codes allows access to the various parts of a
query. Below you can see the expanded branch for the Super Code
“SUB Magic WITHIN Horror %4” (see “Example 3: Creating a
query using proximity operators” on page 174). When double-
clicking on the entry SUB, all quotations associated with the first
part of the query “SUB Magic” are shown. When double-clicking
on “WITHIN,” the results of the full query are displayed.

Expanding the Memos branch displays all memos and then the
memos associated with other memos. On the next level, all
associated codes are shown.
When expanding the Family branches, on the first level all existing
families are shown. On the next level, all members are displayed.
Below the members, all objects that are usually associated with the
type of object can be expanded (i.e., as described above: quotations
underneath PDs, codes connected to other codes, and so on).
In case you have created Super Families, the operators used to
build up the super families are also shown. When clicking on an
operator, only the corresponding family members are shown, as
explained above for Super Codes.
Expanding the Network Views branch shows the existing networks
on the first level, and all objects contained in the Network Views
on the next level. On the levels below, the usual elements as
described above for the Primary Docs, Codes, and Memos
branches can be made visible.
Note: All codes displayed in the Object Explorer can be used for
drag & drop coding. PDs, codes, and memos can be dragged into
family managers and assigned to families.

Double-click Actions
Double-clicking the entries directly below the root launches the
respective Object Managers. These are the Object Managers for
PDs, codes, and memos; the Family Managers for PDs, codes, and
memo families; and the Network View Manager for Network
Views.
• When double-clicking on a PD, its comment is displayed.
• When double-clicking on a quotation, it is highlighted in
context.
• When double-clicking on a code, a list of quotations pops up.
If only one quotation is associated with the code, it is
highlighted in context.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 183


• When double-clicking on a memo, its content is displayed.

Renaming Objects
All objects, excluding the top-level entries like the name of the
HU, the container entries “Primary Docs”, “Codes”, “Memos”,
etc., can be renamed using the “in-place” technique. This technique
is also used by Windows Explorer and other Windows file dialog
boxes to rename files and directories.

To rename an object in the Object Explorer


In the example below Network View “4 Elements” is renamed to
“Four Elements”.
1. Select an object with a single left click.

2. Click on the selected object again. After a short delay, the list
entry changes its appearance into a small text entry field.
Alternatively, press the F2 key.

3. Edit the name of the object (you can use the arrow keys, and
cut-copy-paste).

4. Click anywhere else to finish editing or press the Esc key to


cancel editing.

Opening Object Menus


Each object in the Object Explorer has a context menu. These
menus can be accessed in the usual manner with a right mouse
click. This selects the object, if not already selected, and opens the
context menu, which offers a few selected object-specific
operations.

184 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 75 Context menu for a Network View

Displaying and Editing Comments


To edit an object’s comment,
1. Select an object and edit the comment that appears in the text
pane.
2. Save changes by opening the context menu inside the text
area and choose ACCEPT.

The View Menu


The items offered by the View menu let you change the font
(useful before capturing screen shots for presentations), the display
of object-specific items, the length of the tree indentation, the
presence of the collapse/expand buttons, the display of the object's
icons, and the comment area (Zoom List). You can also disable the
in-place editing capability.

The Toolbar
Toggle View has Lines
Toggle View use Images
Toggle View has Buttons

Toggle View has Lines at Root


Toggle Always on Top

Code Trees & Forests


Special Object Explorers can be invoked to display codes only. To
display a tree view for a selected code only,
A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 185
1. Select a code, e.g., in the Code Manager.
2. From the CODES/MISCELLANEOUS menu, choose CODE TREE.
To display all root codes with their trees and branches,
1. Select a code.
2. Choose CODES/MISCELLANEOUS/CODE FOREST.
The rules and procedures described above for codes in the Object
Explorer apply here as well (see “Using the Object Explorer” on
page 181).
Codes displayed in code trees and forests can be used for drag &
drop coding. This is a preferred alternative for users who like to
work with hierarchically-ordered coding schemas.

Redundant Coding Analyzer


This procedure identifies overlapping or embedded quotations that
are associated with the same code. Such “codings” -- possibly
indicating redundancy -- can result from normal coding but may
occur unnoticed during a merge procedure.
You might not need or want to correct redundant codings, but these
occurrences may be indicative of methodological issues in your
analysis.

The Coding Analyzer Screen


The Coding Analyzer finds codes with redundant codings and
offers appropriate procedures.
To open the tool, select EXTRAS/REDUNDANT CODING ANALYZER from
the HU editor's main menu.
The upper pane displays a list of codes referencing overlapping
quotations. Clicking on a code displays the conflicting quotations
pair wise. Double-clicking on a listed quotation displays it in
context.

186 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 76 - The Redundant Coding Analyzer

The upper pane lists all codes for which redundant codings were
found. The Redundancy column displays the number of pairs of
redundant quotations found for the codes. If you select one of the
codes, the redundant quotations are listed in pairs in the two lower
panes. Double-clicking on the listed quotations displays and
highlights them in context. Because of this, you can check them in
context and decide how to proceed.
The two figure below illustrate a typical redundant coding:

Figure 77 Viewing quote 1:24 in context

Figure 78 Viewing quote 1:15 in context

Three procedures to handle a redundant coding are offered:


Unlink detaches the selected code from the quotation selected in
one of the quotation panes. This method is the least “destructive”
of the available options.
Remove deletes the selected quotation.
Merge melts the quotation in the right pane into the quotation
selected in the left pane. All references to and from the merged

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 187


quotation is "inherited" by the other. If the two quotations overlap,
the resulting quotation includes all data from both quotations.
Both quotation panes have a “Connectivity” column that shows the
number of connections (to codes, quotations, and memos) for the
selected quotation. The connectivity counter provides an additional
clue about the next step. A quotation with less connections might
be less painful to remove.
If you see a quotation listed more than once in one of the quotation
list panes (1:27 and 1:17 in the figure above), it means that three or
more quotations are involved in a redundant coding. You will
notice, that merging one pair of quotations may have the effect that
other pairs are removed from the list as well, as the redundancy
assertion does not hold any longer for the remaining pairs of
quotations for this code.

Unlinking, Removing or Merging a Redundantly Coded


Quotation
1. Select a code in the upper pane. All pairs of redundantly
coded quotations are then displayed in the two lower panes.
2. Double-click on the quotations of a pair to inspect them in
context.
3. Decide whether you want to unlink or remove one of the two
quotations, or whether you want to merge them.
4. To unlink a quotation click the UNLINK button below the
appropriate list pane. The effect and alternative procedures of
unlinking codes is described in further detail in “Unlinking
Codes” on page 123.
5. To remove a quotation click the REMOVE button below the
appropriate list pane.
6. To merge the pair of quotations, click the MERGE button.
7. Note that the quotations removed by this procedure cease to
exist inside the Hermeneutic Unit.

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Family Life

Just as codes describe sets of quotations, families cluster Primary


Documents (PDs), codes, and memos. One important objective is
to manage large amounts of objects by classifying them into
subsets, e.g., all theoretical codes, all PDs from respondents of a
certain age group or location, all memos related to a theme, etc.

Overview
In the following, the role of families as variables, super families
and for controlling the HU merge procedure are introduced.

Families as Variables
While families are used to classify a group of objects, the objects
they classify can be members of more than one family.
Unlike Network Views, which can contain objects of different
types as nodes, families can only contain one type of object. For
example, a code can never be a member of a memo family.
Partitioning objects into families reduces the number of "chunks"
requiring the researcher's attention. Families are often used for
filtering (see “Sorting and Filtering” on page 135), and when
formulating queries in the Query Tool (see “The Query Tool” on
page 158).
Example: When conducting an interview study with respondents
from various backgrounds and locations, PD families can be
created to classify the respondents into:
• Female / Male
• Location A, Location B, Location C
• Age Group 1 (20-30), Age Group 2 (31-40), Age Group 3 (41-
50)
• Blue-collar worker, White-collar worker, Management, etc.
Families make effective user-defined filters. For example, you can
filter PDs to only view female respondents.
In the Query Tool, PD families can be used to restrict the scope of
the search. For example, you can ask for all quotations coded by
Code_A and Code_B that occur in documents of white-collar
female respondents from location B.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 189


The PD-Family table function provides a convenient way to
import and export variables (see below for a detailed explanation).
Code families can be used to loosely group codes that belong
together. Other than in Network Views where specific relationships
between codes need to be defined, in code families it is not
necessary to specify the ways in which codes relate to each other.
Use memo families to sort, filter, and organize your memos.

Super Families
Super Families are combination of other families (including other
Super Families). You can build complex families incrementally
from existing families using a set of powerful Boolean operators.
Super Families function just like Super Codes (see “Super Codes”
on page 175) by calculating their members on-the-fly when needed.

Using Families when Merging Hermeneutic Units


A special application of families is used to specify the sets of
objects to be excluded in the process of merging Hermeneutic
Units (HUs) (see “Merging Hermeneutic Units” on page 286).

Common Procedures
Although the handling of families and their members is identical,
their usage differs between the types of families. In the following,
the general aspects of and procedures for working with families are
described. Thereafter, a description of specific characteristics of the
different family types follows.
All procedures for displaying, editing, and creating families are
found in the menus of their object type (i.e., under the Documents,
Codes, and Memos menus).

The Family Manager


Using the Family Manager you can create, edit, and delete families.
You can add and remove items (‘family members’), write
comments concerning a particular family, or set a family as filter.
Family Managers and the procedures described in the following are
the same for all family types.

190 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 79 – PD Family Manager window

Components of the Family Manager


1. The Family Manager’s main pane lists all families for the
specific object type. In the figure above, the PD family
“Content text” is used as a filter and appears in bold letters.
The window displays the name, (member) size, author, and
creation and modification dates (not currently visible). The
columns can be used to sort the families according to these
criteria by clicking the column header.
2. The left list below the family list displays the “family
members” already assigned.
3. The two buttons between the list panes are for assigning or
removing items from the selected family.
4. The right list displays all items not currently assigned to the
selected family.
5. The comment area contains an optional description for the
family.

To Open a Family Manager


Select EDIT FAMILIES/OPEN FAMILY MANAGER from the DOCUMENTS,
CODES, or MEMOS menu.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 191


The EDIT FAMILIES submenu
is available from the
Documents, Codes and
Memos menu.
The Family Manager is also available by clicking the button in the
corresponding Object Manager.

Creating Families
Before using a family, it must first be created in the Family
Manager.

To create a new family


1. Open the Family Manager for PDs, codes, or memos.
2. Click the Create New Family
button or select the menu option FAMILIES/NEW FAMILY.
3. Enter a name when prompted and click OK. If you enter the
name of an already existing family, you will hear an error
sound. A message pops up letting you know that the entered
name is not accepted.
4. Now you can add members and write a preliminary comment
describing the family.

Note: The number of items in a family is displayed behind the


family's name in parentheses.

Adding and Removing Members


After a family is created, adding members is often the next logical
step. However, the assignment and removal of items can be done
at any time during the life cycle of a family. To add new items to a
family:

To Add New Items to a Family


1. Open the Family Manager for the relevant object type (PD,
code, or memo).
2. Select a family. If you have just created the family, it is
already selected.
3. Select one or more items in the right list pane.
4. Click the Add Items button to make the selected items
members of the selected family.
5. Watch the member list being filled with the items you have
just assigned.
Another way to add members is to drag them from an Object
Add members via Manager, the Object Explorer, or the margin area into the
drag & drop from the member’s pane.

192 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Object Manager, the If you want to add one item at a time, you can simply double-click
Object Explorer, or the an item.
margin area.

To remove items from a family


1. Open the Family Manager for the relevant object type.
2. Select a family.
3. Select one or more items in the list pane entitled "Members."
4. Click the Remove Items button to remove the selected items
from the selected family. The items are only deleted from this
family and not from the system.
5. If you want to remove one item at a time, you can simply
double-click on each item.

Note: If you delete objects that belong to a family somewhere else,


they will be removed automatically from all their hosting families.

Writing a Comment for a Family


The family comment can be used to describe why and for what
purpose a family was created. This is especially useful when
families are treated as attributes.

Creating or Editing a Family Comment


1. Open the Family Manager for
the relevant object type, e.g., by clicking the Family button
in an Object Explorer.
2. Select a family.
3. In the text pane, write or edit a
comment.
Alternatively, you can open a full-fledged editor by clicking
the Comment button in the toolbar.

Assigning Families to Objects


The option ‘Assigning families’ is another way of adding members
to a family. Given a number of predefined attributes like "Male,"
"Female," "Age under 25," "Age between 26-35” and so on, this
option allows you to easily assign suitable attributes to the objects
selected in an Object Manager.

Assigning Families to Objects


1. Select any number of objects in the Object Manager.
2. Choose EDIT FAMILIES/ASSIGN FAMILIES from the menu.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 193


3. From the list, select one or more families to which the
selected objects are to be assigned.
4. Click OK.

Using Families as Filters


One added value of families is that you can use them as filters. For
example, if you have created a code family including only
‘Abstract’ codes, you can use this family as a filter to reduce the
total number of codes displayed in the drop-down list in the Code
Manager and the margin area.
If a family is activated as a filter, it is displayed in bold letters in
the Family Manager. In addition, the background color in the
Object Manager and drop-down list changes. The active filter is
also indicated in the filter field of the status bar in the Object
Manager.

Figure 80 The code manager’s statusbar displays the current family filter(F:Horror)

To Filter Items using the Family Manager


1. Open the Family Manager.
2. Double-click a family. Watch how the display in the Object
Manger and the margin area changes to display only items
that are members of the selected family.
3. To change the filter back to
"All," double-click on the family again, or click on the Toggle
Filter button in the toolbar.

Note: Filters do not affect Network Views. Even if you have set a
filter, Network Views still display all their nodes.

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Removing Families
Removing a family does not remove any of the contained items.

To remove a family
1. Open the Family Manager for the relevant object type.
2. Select the family to be removed.

3. Click the Delete button or


select menu option FAMILIES/DELETE FAMILY.

Primary Document Families


Along with sharing all the characteristics of code and memo
families, PD families have some additional characteristics.

Primary Document Families as Variables


PD Families can be used to define the scope of a query when used
PD families as as global attributes supplementing codes. For instance, if the PD
variables can be used families "female" and "under 25" were assigned to a number of
in queries and SPSS interviews, one can then formulate queries like: "Show me all
jobs. quotations from interviews with females under 25 coded with
"coping" or "power." For a step-by-step instruction, see “The
Query Tool” on page 158.
In SPSS jobs, PD families are a way to aggregate some of the data
(see “How SPSS Export Handles Families” on page 299).
Use PD-Family tables PD-Family tables are an efficient means to create families and to
to assign PDs and assign PDs to their respective families. You can also use them to
variables at the same assign PDs and to generate variables in one step.
time.

PD-Family Table
PDs, PD families, and their relations can be transported (ex- and
imported) using the Excel™ compatible CSV (Comma Separated
Values) format. This data exchange format can be used to
conveniently assign a large number of PDs from generic lists.

A Table Example

Figure 81 - PD-Family Table in Excel™

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 195


The above PD-Family Table was created from HU “The Sample”
(rearranged a bit for clarity) and exported to Excel™ with the
following columns:
Documents: The PD sequence number.
Name: The name of the PD.
Path: The resolved path of the PD’s data source, i.e., the actual
location of the data source at the time the table was exported. In the
figure above, the complete path of P 2 is displayed in the entry
field below the Excel™ toolbar.
@Origin: Contains the original path reference that was valid at the
time the document was assigned to the HU. May contain special
paths (e.g., <HUPATH>). This attribute can only be handled
intelligently when importing such a table with ATLAS.ti. Other
applications may simply ignore it and use the Path attribute instead.
Note, that P 5 uses a memo as its data source. Its path and origin
use a special notation indicating that the data source is not a file,
but an internal object (e.g., a memo)
All following columns: Families.
Column E represents a Super Family, which is often prefixed by
an asterisk (*). Note that during import of a table, Super Families
are treated like standard families. Column F is a standard family.
Column G shows the values of a family with string variables (see
below).
PD-Family Tables can be exported or imported as tab-delimited or
as comma separated value (CSV) files. Both formats can be read
by Excel™.

PD Families as Non-Dichotomous Variables


Within ATLAS.ti, all families, when interpreted as variables, are
dichotomous because an item may or may not belong to a specific
family. However, by following a simple naming convention, PD
families can be made to represent more than two values for use
outside of ATLAS.ti. These families can be used in other statistical
and database applications as string variables after being exported as
part of a PD Family table.
For example, imagine a situation where your respondents
represented by the PDs are from different locations: Berlin, New
York, London, and Tokyo. To create one variable with four values,
you would create 4 PD families named as follows:
Location::Berlin
Location::New York
Location::London
Location::Tokyo

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The variable name precedes the name-value separator (default: ::),
and the value (name of city) immediately follows the separator,
following the naming convention: VARNAME::VARVALUE.
PDs are assigned to their respective families in the usual way (i.e.,
PD 1 is a document from Berlin). When creating a PD Family
table, the name and the value part are split, using the name for the
column (prefixed with #) and the value in the cell.

documents Name Path #Location


P1 Interview 1 C:\……. Berlin
P2 Interview 2 C:\……. Berlin
P3 Interview 3 C:\……. London
P4 Interview 4 C:\……. New York
P5 Interview 5 C:\……. New York
P6 Interview 6 C:\……. Tokyo
P7 Interview 7 C:\……. 0
P8 Interview 8 C:\……. London

From the four families, only one variable and column location is
created when generating the table. Missing values are indicated by
a zero (0) and used for documents not assigned to any family.

Note: Do not assign a PD to more than one family with the same
PD families used variable name (e.g., both to Location::Berlin and Location::New
as non-dichotomous York). ATLAS.ti allows this, as it treats every family as a separate
variables should be dichotomous variable. However, when converted into a single non-
used in a mutually dichotomous variable “Location” during export as a table, such
exclusive manner. multiple assignments could create problems.

To Export a PD-Family Table


If you have named your 1. Select DOCUMENTS/
variable families using MISCELLANEOUS /EXPORT PD-FAMILY TABLE from the main menu.
a different separator, This option is also available from the Families menu or the
change the separator context menu in the PD Family Manager.
when prompted.
2. You are prompted for a separator value. Click OK to use the
default value “::”.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 197


3. Select the output format in the next step and click OK.
Note: Tab-delimited text files can also be interpreted by
Excel™

4. Finally, specify the output target as usual (see “Output


Destinations” on page 308 for details). If installed, the File &
Run option opens the table in Excel™ immediately.
If Excel™ does not display the table correctly (e.g. only one
column containing all values), try the alternative field delimiter.

Preparing and Importing a PD-Family Table


Create the following columns when manually preparing a PD-
Family table for import from a spreadsheet application such as
Excel:
First column: Use ‘Documents’ as the header and a PD number in
subsequent rows.
Second column: Use header “Name” and enter a name for the PD
in each row.
The next one or two columns: As already mentioned above, the
document path is stored twofold when a table is created by
ATLAS.ti: The actual path at the time of export (column Path) and
the path at the time of the assignment of the document to the HU
(column: @Origin). The latter can also contain special path
components (<HUPATH>, <TBPATH>) that will be correctly
resolved when imported into ATLAS.ti.
When reading a table into ATLAS.ti, the Path column has more or
less descriptive character as the @Origin is always preferred. Path
can be omitted when creating a table manually. Column @Origin is
sufficient and may either be absolute or contain special paths. For
details see “Reference Types: Many Paths, One Destination” on
page 94.
If neither Path nor @Origin is defined, the name of the document
is used as the file reference with special <HUPATH>. It is
expected to be located in the same folder together with the HU.
All following columns: Enter variable names (the document
families) into the subsequent columns. If you want to use string
variables, use a hash (#) as the lead character, as in: #Education.

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Note: If a field name or value contains characters resembling the
separator, you need to enclose the name or value with quotation
marks.

documents Name @Origin #Educati Reading


on newspaper?
P1 Interview 1 C :\……. High school 0
P2 Interview 2 C :\……. bachelor 1
P3 Interview 3 C :\……. unskilled 0
P4 Interview 4 <TBPATH>\…. High school 1
P5 Interview 5 C :\……. High school 0
P6 Interview 6 <HUPATH>\ unskilled 1
…….
P7 Interview 7 C :\……. doctorate 1
P8 Interview 8 C :\……. Bachelor 1

When importing the above table, ATLAS.ti links the name and the
value part for the non-dichotomous variables and creates five PD
families with the following titles:
• Education::unskilled
• Education::high school
• Education::bachelor
• Education::doctorate
• Reading Newspapers?

If the PDs do not yet exist in the HU, new PDs are created and are
assigned to the HU. If you have entered a valid path, the PDs can
immediately be loaded. If no valid path is entered, it can be entered
or modified later (see “Change Path (for one PD at a time)” on
page 102).
Adding new PDs: If your HU already contains PDs, you can
assign additional PDs by importing a PD Family table. However,
you must be sure that the new PDs are numbered consecutively. If
your HU already contains P1 to P10, the numbers of the additional
PDs in the documents column need to start at P11. If the document
number and path reference do not match an existing reference, then
this document is ignored and not assigned as a PD.

To Import a PD-Family Table


1. From the main menu, select DOCUMENTS/ MISCELLANEOUS
/IMPORT PD-FAMILY TABLE. This option is also available from
the Families menu, or from the context menu in the PD
Family Manager.
2. If you are importing into a new HU, the following dialog
opens, asking you to store the HU before proceeding. This is

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 199


needed to be able to access “HU follower” documents using
the special <HUPATH>:

3. In the next step a standard file dialog window opens. Select


and open a PD Family file (created as explained above).
4. Select the field delimiter: comma, semicolon, or tab.

ATLAS.ti analyzes the input and tries to determine which


delimiter was used.
5. Click OK to start the import procedure.
6. A final message confirms the creation of the new families.

Primary Document Families in SPSS Jobs


In addition to being used within ATLAS.ti, PD families as well as
code families are used when creating SPSS jobs. Both PD and code
families are a way to aggregate data (see “SPSS Export” on page
296 for further detail).

Code Families
Code families in the In ATLAS.ti, the term “code family” is used to sort codes into
ATLAS.ti framework named sets or groups. For example, if you have four categories that

200 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


are simply named sets are types of actors you can group them into a code family. Four
of codes. members of the “actors” family might be friends, parents, siblings,
and partner.

Code Families in Queries


Code families can also be used with codes to construct queries
using the Query Tool. Families are interpreted in queries as if all its
contained codes were combined using the Boolean operator OR.
For example, a code family containing the four codes water, fire,
air, and earth is interpreted in a query as ‘water OR fire OR air OR
earth’. For more details refer to “The Query Tool” on page 158.

Code Families in SPSS Jobs


Code families are also exploited when exporting an HU to SPSS
syntax files (see “How SPSS Export Handles Families” on page
299).

Creating Code Families from Network Views


This procedure assumes some acquaintance with networks (see
“The Network Editor et. al.” on page 213). Creating a code family
from a Network View’s code nodes might be useful when you need
to print all quotations referenced by the codes in the Network View
or to filter all codes contained in a Network View.

To create a code family from a Network View


1. Open the Network View.
2. From the main menu in the Network Editor, select
SPECIALS/GENERATE FAMILY.
3. You are prompted for a name. The offered default name is the
name of the Network View. Accept the name or type in a new
name and click OK.

Memo Families
Memo families are useful for sorting and filtering your written
reflections about the project. Memos can be separated by type such
as theoretical or linguistic.
The procedures for creating and handling memo families resemble
those for code families.

Super Families
Just like Super Codes, Super Families follow the same underlying logic as Super Codes
Super Families re- (cf. “Super Codes” on page 175). They are constructed by

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 201


calculate their combining families (including Super Families).
members “on Their members are determined dynamically whenever you activate
demand.” a Super Family.

Using Super Families


You are working in the Customer Department of an airline and
have been given the task to analyze customer complaints. As basis
for your analysis, you have a set of documents dealing with
customer complaints about domestic flights and a set of documents
dealing with customer complaints about international flights. Your
company is particularly interested in differences between domestic
and international flights and differences between business and
leisure travelers. Important factors to analyze might be gender,
level of income, and frequent flyer status.

The matrix below is based on the four customer groups:


Domestic Flights International Flights
Business traveler Business traveler
Leisure traveler Leisure traveler

This matrix illustrates the four PD families that can be constructed


which are domestic flights, international flights, business traveler,
and leisure traveler. When this is done, documents should be
assigned to the appropriate families.
Next code the data. For example, you may use codes such as
“punctuality,” “general service,” “in-flight services,” and “human
interaction” to describe complaints customers had.
To find out how the four groups might differ in terms of certain
type of complaints, you would make use of the Query Tool:
1. Open the Query Tool.
2. Double-click on the code containing the information you are
interested in, e.g., complaints about ‘in-flight services.’
3. Click Scope to define the documents to be included in the
search.
4. Select the two PD families ‘Domestic Flights’ and ‘Business
Traveler’ and combine them using the AND operator.
5. The result pane of the scope selection window now displays
documents matching the above-defined combination of
families.
6. The result pane of the Query Tool now displays quotations
related to complaints about in-flight services from business
travelers on domestic flights.
In order to compare the four groups in regard to different types of
complaints, the steps above need to be repeated.

202 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Having frequently used combinations of families available as Super
Families eases such tasks considerably.
Below, a step-by-step instruction on how to create Super Families
is provided.

To create a Super Family


1. Open a Family Manager and
click the Super Family button, (or select FAMILIES/OPEN SUPER
FAMILY TOOL from the menu).
2. The Super Family Tool opens:

Figure 82 - Super Family Tool

The Super Family Tool is like a reduced Query Tool (see “The
Query Tool” on page 158 for details). In the left pane, the available
families are listed. For our example above, there are four Super
Families and four regular families. The panes on the right-hand
side (from top to bottom: the term stack pane, the feedback pane
and the result pane) display information once you begin to create a
combination of families. The buttons above the stack pane are
described in the context of the Query Tool (see “Stack
Management” on page 178).
To create a Super Family combining two families (such as
“domestic flights” and “business traveler”), do the following:
3. Double-click on family ‘domestic flight’. It is displayed in the
stack pane.
4. Double-click on the family ‘business traveler’. It is “pushed”
on top of the stack.
Now you have two families on the stack that can be combined
with one of the operators.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 203


In our example, the resulting Super Family should contain the
intersection of the other two families.
5. Click the AND operator. This
operator “fetches” the two families from the stack and creates
the combined expression.
6. The stack now contains the query expression, and the pane
below the infix notation of the query is displayed. The
resulting items are displayed in the results pane.

Note: In the results pane, those members of the families are listed
(either PDs, codes, or memos) that match the current query.

7. Click the SUPER FAMILY button to store the query as a Super


family.
8. You are prompted for a name. Accept the default or enter a
new name, for instance “Business travelers on domestic
flights”.
9. The new Super Family is displayed in the family browser
with a red version of the family icon. If icons are turned off,
the list entry is colored red.

Possible Family Combinations


You can combine families in numerous and complex ways to form
Super Families. In the following section, some common
combinations are presented. Once you are familiar with the tool,
you can venture out and try out more complex combinations.
For the following descriptions of the four operators, looking at the
Venn diagram (see Figure 64 - Boolean queries depicted as Venn
diagrams) may be helpful.

204 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


OR The Super Family tool offers four operators that can be used to
combine families. The four operators are also known as Boolean
XOR operators: OR, XOR, AND, and NOT.
AND Combining two families with the OR operator yields those items
NOT that are members of one or both families. Combining two families
with the AND operator yields only those members belonging to
both families.
Combining two families using the XOR operator yields all
members belonging to any of the families less those that are in
both families.
The NOT operator inverts an existing family. By negating a family
female, you could simply create a Super Family that, presumably,
includes all males. The NOT operator, as well as all other
operators, does not only work on families but also on Super
Families or in arbitrary partial queries as in “NOT (A OR B)”.

Combining Families using Boolean Operators


Combining families to build Super Families is essentially the same
as formulating code- and code family-based queries in the
ATLAS.ti Query Tool. If you are interested in a more detailed (and
more theoretical) explanation of the logic underlying both Super
Families and the Query Tool, read the chapter “The Query Tool”
on page 158.
The sequence of entering a query to create a Super Family is as
follows: First, select all families that you want to combine, and
then select the operator(s):

Intended Query What to click Display in query


feedback pane
Members family A or Family A, Family B, (“Family A” |
family B (or both)
OR “Family B”)
Members that exclusively Family A, Family B, (“Family A” ||
belong to either family A or
family B XOR “Family B”)
Members that belong to Family A, Family B, (“Family A” &
both family A and family B
AND “Family B”)
Members that do not Family A, NOT NOT “Family A”
belong to family A

Combining more than two families


In order to combine more than two families, you can use a simple
query to build upon, or you can click it as one sequence. For the
beginner, it is recommended to build up to a more complex query
step-by-step.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 205


Creating a complex query step-by-step
Let’s assume you want to create a Super Family containing all
female respondents under the age of 25, living in New York. This
means you want to generate a Super Family based on the overlap of
the three families female, under 25, and New York. We start by
combing the first two families “female” and “under 25”.
1. Double-click family “female”.
2. Double-click family “under 25”.
3. Select operator AND.
The stack pane and the query pane now contain the following
terms:

The display in the query feedback pane matches more or less the
way we would express the query in everyday language. In the
figure above, one item is displayed in the stack, namely the query
we just entered. We can now incrementally build a more complex
query from this query.
4. Double-click on the family “New York”. This pushes the
family onto the stack, which now contains two items ready to
be combined.

The feedback pane always displays the item that is on top of


the stack. The topmost item on the stack has either been
entered or is the result of applying an operator.
5. To yield all documents that match all three requirements:
female, under 25, and from New York, click the AND
operator again.

206 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


6. The stack and query feedback pane now looks as follows:

7. If these are all the attributes that you want to combine, click
on the SUPER FAMILY button. If you want to combine a fourth
or fifth attribute, continue as described above.

Creating a complex query as a sequence


When creating a complex query in one sequence, the rule is to
select all families first, followed by the appropriate number and
type of operators. Using the same example as above, the sequence
would be as follows:
1. Double-click on the family “female”.
2. Double-click on the family “under 25”.
3. Double-click on the family “New York”.

4. Select the operator AND.

5. Select the operator AND again.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 207


6. Click the NOT operator, and you have created a family
combination not containing female respondents, under the age
of 25, living in New York.
As an exercise: how would you create a family combination
yielding males over 25 not living in New York?1

Create a Snapshot
Snapshots are “hard- A snapshot creates a “hardwired” standard family containing the
wired” versions of items derived from a Super Family as its members. It is a
super families. convenient shortcut for the following actions:
1. Creating a new family.
2. Double-click a Super Family to set the filter in the
corresponding object manager.
3. Drag the displayed items from the Object Manager into the
member pane for the newly created and selected standard
family.
Example: By creating a snapshot from Super Code family
Chemistry, a new (standard) family is created which includes all
codes that the Super Family has as its members at this time. While
a Super Family reflects any changes in regard to the members of
any of its combined families, a snapshot will not change. This is
identical to creating snapshot from Super Codes.
Snapshots are a means to audit the process of your analysis. By
comparing Super Families with previous snapshots, you can see
how and in which direction your thoughts have developed.

Figure 83 A snapshot of super code family Chemistry displayed in a network view

1
Solution: Combine families Female, Over 25 and New York using the OR operator, then negate
using NOT
208 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
The Conceptual Level: Networks

The word "network" is an ubiquitous and powerful metaphor found


in many different fields of research and application. Flow charts in
project planning, text graphs in hypertext systems, cognitive
models of memory and knowledge representation (semantic
networks) are all networks that serve to represent complex
information by intuitively accessible graphic means. One of the
most attractive properties of graphs is their intuitive graphical
presentation, mostly in form of two-dimensional layouts of labeled
nodes and links.

In contrast with linear, sequential representations (e.g., text),


presentations of knowledge in networks resemble more closely the
way human memory and thought is structured. Cognitive "load" in
handling complex relationships is reduced with the aid of spatial
representation techniques. ATLAS.ti uses networks to help
represent and explore conceptual structures. Networks add a
heuristic "right brain" approach to qualitative analysis.
Networks are more Along with using networks for "mind mapping" and the visual
than just graphics design of theoretical models, you can exploit the structural
properties of code-networks to enhance the retrieval of quotations.
Using networks for retrieval purposes is a well known technique in
information retrieval. In that domain, a structured sets of keywords
is usually referred to as a thesaurus. This usage of networks for
semantic retrieval will be described at “Semantic Operators” on
page 162 in more detail.

Nodes and Links


The term “network” is formally defined within graph theory, a
branch of discrete mathematics. A network is defined as a set of
nodes (or "vertices") and links. A node in a network may be linked
to an arbitrary number of other nodes.
The number of links for any one node is called its degree; e.g., a
node with a degree of zero is not linked at all. Another simple
formal property of a network is its order: the number of its nodes.
You may make practical use of the degree of nodes by using it as a
sorting criterion in the codes list window. Column ‘Density’ in the
Code Manager is the degree of the code.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 209


Directed Links
Links are usually drawn as lines between the connected nodes in
graphical presentations of networks. Furthermore, a link between
two nodes may be directed or not. A directed connection is drawn
with an arrow. With directed links, source and target nodes must
be distinguished. The source node is where the link starts and the
target node is where it ends: the destination to which the arrow
points. Connection and link are synonymous.

Links are created either implicitly (e.g., when coding a quotation,


the quotation is "linked" to a code), or explicitly by the user. The
latter option is described in detail in this chapter.
Strictly speaking, code-
quotation associations
(“codings”) also form a
network.

Figure 84 - Code-Quotations link

Strong and Weak Links


Strong links – or “first class” links – are links based on relations.
Strong links are entities by themselves, with names, authors,
comments, and other properties. A strong link is only a link
between a code and another code or a quote and another quote.
Weak links are links that do not have individual properties, e.g., the
links between quotations and codes, between codes and memos,
between a family and its members.

Node Types
The user can manipulate and display almost all objects within the
HU as nodes in a network: quotations, codes, code families,
memos, memo families, other network views, primary documents
(PDs), and PD families. The following discussion applies to all
nodes regardless of their type.
See “Node Types” on page 215 in chapter “The Network Editor et.
al.” for further details.

Relations
ATLAS.ti allows you to establish named links to more clearly
express the nature of the relationships between concepts. With
named links, you may express a sentence like "a broken leg causes
pain" by two nodes (the source node "broken leg" and the target
node "pain") connected with a named link ("causes" or "is-cause-
of").

210 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


The name of a link is displayed in the Network Editor as a label
A default set of attached to the link midway between the two connected nodes. Six
relations is provided. pre-set relations - or link types - are available in ATLAS.ti. These
You may define your standard relations can be substituted, modified, or supplemented by
own. user-defined relations. The default relations are listed in the table
below. C1 and C2 are source and target nodes, respectively.

Relation Label 1 Label 2 Width Color Formal Layout


Attribute Direction
C1 is-associated-with C2 == R 1 Black Symmetric 
C1 is-part-of C2 [] G 1 Black Transitive 
C1 is-cause-of C2 => N 1 Black Transitive 
C1 contradicts C2 <> A 1 Black Symmetric 
C1 is-a C2 Isa 0 2 Black Transitive 
C1 noname C2 1 Black Symmetric 
C1 is-property-of C2 *} P 1 Black Asymmetric 

Some of these characteristics directly affect the display of links,


while others affect processing (e.g., search routines, automatic
layout). A link between concepts is displayed in a Network Editor
by a line with the relation’s label. You can choose from three
different labels (label 1, label 2 and the name used for the menu
when selecting a relation).
The “formal attribute” affects both the display and processing
capabilities of a relation. For example: All asymmetric relations are
symbolized in the Network Editor with an arrow pointing toward
the target code (C2). Symmetric relations are displayed without
arrows.
A typical transitive relation is the is-cause-of relation: if C1 is-
cause-of C2 and C2 is-cause-of C3, it follows that C1 is-cause-of
C3. Transitive relations also enable the "semantic retrieval"
described in chapter, “The Query Tool” on page 158.
There are some additional properties that the user may define when
creating new relations: a comment explaining the relation, two
labels and a longer text that can be used as alternative display
options in the Network Editor, the width and color of the line
linking two nodes, and the preferred layout direction. This property
affects the layout of a network when ATLAS.ti automatically
arranges the nodes. See “Layout Procedures” on page 228.

Link vs. Relation


It is important to understand the difference between a relation (or a
link type) and the link itself: There is only one "is part of" relation,
but potentially many links using it. In the Network View below, the
relation "consequence" is used only once, while the relation
“strategy” is used four times.
Relations are like Another way to think of links and relations is to view links as

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 211


"styles" in a word instances of relations. Links are well informed about the
processor. Changing characteristics of relations, which define their styles. If a
the style will change all characteristic of a relation is changed (e.g., line width, color,
occurrences of its symbol), these changes are propagated to all links using it.
usage, in this case: the
links.

Figure 85 - Four links using two relations, “strategy” and “consequence”

The Role of Relations


It is useful to understand the role that relations play in the
construction of a theory. The concepts (codes) that are linked using
relations represent aspects of the problem domain under
investigation. On the other hand, the relations used to link these
domain concepts are part of the methodology used to analyze the
phenomena. As important epistemological tools they constitute the
main questions that guide the development of a model or a theory.
Define your own The "Grounded Theory" method of Glaser & Strauss uses relations
“epistemological like "is-phenomenon, "is-context-of,” "is-consequence-of,” "is-
primitives.” condition-for,” "is-strategy-for," etc., to relate concepts found
during the data-oriented open coding phase.
In the analysis of argumentation structures, other relations are more
suitable: e.g., "is evidence of,” "is contradictory to,” "warrants,"
etc. A medical expert attempting to capture diagnostic knowledge
would use, e.g., "is-symptom-of,” and "is medication for.”

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The Network Editor et. al.

The Network Editor The Network Editor offers an intuitive and powerful method to
lets you visually create and manipulate network structures. It favors a direct
connect codes and manipulation technique: You can literally "grab" codes, quotations,
other objects to create memos, or other objects using your cursor and move them around
semantic networks or the screen as well as draw and cut links between them.
hypertext webs.
The following describes various methods available for creating and
editing Network Views.

Figure 86 - The Network Editor

The Network Editor has two "helper" windows ("NWE-Toolbox"


and "Alignment Tool") that offer convenient support for some
tasks (see References at “Display Menu” on page 381).
The Relation Editor for maintaining the relation "database," and for
creating and editing relations is described in a separate chapter (see
“The Relation Editor” on page 233).

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Network vs. Network View
The difference between a ‘Network’ and a ‘Network View’ is an
important distinction that is necessary to understand the way
networks are handled within ATLAS.ti.
An ATLAS.ti network is the set of all objects and their links inside
the Hermeneutic Unit (HU). It exists independently of any display-
oriented characteristics (layout, color, line width, etc.). It is the
logical structure of the HU's objects. It exists even before the first
Network View is created.
Network View = A Network View is typically only a subset of this global structure
logical structure + of nodes and links combined with an individual layout of nodes. It
visual layout is like viewing the same thing, i.e., the network, from different
angles and with different pieces visible.

Network View Characteristics


Network Views have certain important characteristics:
• Several different Network Views on the same network are
possible.
• Network Views can be given names under which they are
stored and accessed inside the HU.
• Network Views can be commented.
• Network Views are displayed and edited in the Network
Editor.
• Network Views allow individual layout of the nodes.
• As a node, a single object can be a member of any number of
Network Views, just like a code can be an element of more
than one code family.
• An object, e.g., a specific code, can only appear once in any
Network View.
Network Views allow for a flexible but logically consistent display
of the network of objects, so there are a few constraints to keep in
mind:
If code A is linked to code B using relation R, then every Network
View that contains code A and code B will necessarily include the
R-link between the two. Furthermore, as only one link can exist
between any two nodes at any given time, no Network View will
display any other relation between those two nodes. Compare the
figure below with Figure 85 above. Any two nodes appearing in
both Network Views will have the same link, if any. The positions
of the nodes, or how they are displayed, may, of course, differ.

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Figure 87 - This network view is consistent with the partial network view in Figure 85
above.

Node Types
The following object classes can be displayed and edited as nodes
within the Network Editor. The display characteristics of the nodes
can be altered in a variety of ways.

Codes as Nodes
The node icon and label for Codes are probably the most prominent objects in ATLAS.ti
codes: networks. They provide the main ingredients for models and
theories.

Memos as Nodes
The node icon for memos: Memos in networks are often an important supplement to code
networks.
Several theoretical memos can be imported into a network to map
out their relationship. The visual layout provides comfortable
territory for moving from memo to memo to read and contemplate
each individually and the relationship(s) between them.
When dragging a piece of text from a "drag-enabled" application
(like MS Word™) into a Network Editor, the text becomes a memo
with an automatically assigned title. The title can be renamed later.

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Primary Documents as Nodes
The icons displayed for PDs as nodes are useful sometimes, but in the presence of
files in Windows Explorer quotations may clutter the view by myriad links. However, PDs as
are used as standard icons nodes make a nice graphical content table for graphical primary
for PD nodes. documents. When selecting the option DISPLAY/FULL IMAGE FOR
PDS, "thumbnail" images of the PDs are displayed. This option
only affects graphical PDs.

Quotations as Nodes
The node icons for Quotations and codes have one thing in common that is not true
quotations: for the other objects. They can link to each other (quotations to
quotations and code to codes) with fully qualified "first class"
text audio links using relations.
The inclusion of quotations in a Network View supports the
image video construction and inspection of hyperlink structures.
Quotations can be included in a Network View by simply dragging
a piece of text from the PD (only possible for text documents).

Families as Nodes
Families are a useful device to group codes, memos, or PDs that
belong to one concept. Instead of displaying all of the codes
belonging to the concept, the Code Family may be displayed.
The links between families and their members are depicted by a
dotted red line.

Network Views as Nodes


The node icon and label for Network Views as nodes allow the inclusion of Network Views in
network views: other Network Views. The Network View’s context menu offers
the option to open the View in a separate Network Editor. This is
also available via double-click with Ctrl pressed.

Basic Network View Procedures

Creating Network Views


Two methods for creating Network Views are available. The first
one creates an empty Network View into which objects are
imported in sequential steps. The other method creates a Network
View from a selected object and its neighbors.

To create a new Network View


1. Select NETWORKS/NEW NETWORK VIEW from the HU editor's
main menu or from the drop down list offered by the Network
button in the main toolbar.

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2. Enter a name for the new Network View. A Network Editor
opens.
3. Import nodes with any of the methods described in the section
“Importing Nodes” on page 224.
4. Arrange the nodes.
5. Save the Network View. It will now be listed in the HU’s
repository of Network Views available via the network
button.
When you save the HU, the newly created Network View is also
saved.

To open a Network View on an Object


A Network View for an object is created with a selected object and
its neighbors. Proceed as follows:
1. Open an Object Manager (e.g., the Code Manager) or the
Object Explorer.
2. Select one or more objects with a left mouse click.
3. In Object Managers, you can
click the network button. For an object selected in the Object
Explorer, select OPEN NETWORK VIEW from the context menu
4. A Network Editor opens with
the selected object and its neighbors.

Note: If multiple objects are selected, their neighbors are not


automatically included in the network view. You can import their
neighbors in a subsequent step.

The nodes are initially placed using the semantic layout procedure,
but can be rearranged manually.
More nodes can be added to this Network View using different
techniques (see “Importing Nodes” on page 224 for details).
Note: Each time a network is opened on a selected object, a new
Network View is created. There is no need to save it, as you can
easily display it at any time following the steps above. If you
rearrange the nodes and want to preserve the new layout, or if you
add or remove nodes, then you need to save it explicitly
(NETWORK/SAVE AS). Saved Network Views can be selected from
the pick list or the Network View Manager.

Launch a Network View


You can open a Network Editor on a specific Network that is
already part of the HU. Open a Network View by one of the
following methods.

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To open a Network View from the pick list
1. Click on the network button’s
down arrow on the main toolbar to display the drop-down list
of existing Network Views.
2. Select one of the listed
Network Views.
3. A Network Editor opens on the
selected Network View.

To open a Network View using the Network View


Manager
Use this method if the number of Network Views already defined
is too large to be comfortably displayed using the pick-list method.
The Network View Manager also allows you to view some
properties of Network Views without opening a Network Editor.
1. Select NETWORKS/ NETWORK VIEW MANAGER from the main
menu or click the Network button in the main toolbar.
2. Select one of the displayed Network Views.
3. Click on the network button above the list.
Note: Steps 2 and 3 can be replaced by double-clicking a
selected Network View.
The Network View
Manager offers easy access
to all Network Views of a
given HU. The text area
displays the comment for
the selected Network View.

Figure 88 - The Network View Manager

Selecting Nodes and Links


Selecting nodes is an important first step for all subsequent
operations targeted at individual objects within a Network View.
Such operations have their corresponding menu commands in the
main menu of the Network Editor.

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To select a single node
1. Move the mouse pointer over
the node to be selected. The mouse pointer changes its
appearance to .
2. Click the left mouse button.
3. The selected node will be
displayed inverted.
4. All previously selected nodes
are deselected.

To select multiple nodes - method 1


1. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard.
2. Select a node as described above.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for every node to be selected.

To select multiple nodes - method 2 ("marquee


selection"):
This method is very efficient if the nodes to be selected fit into an
imaginary rectangle.
1. Move the mouse pointer above and left to one of the nodes to
be selected.
2. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer
down and right to cover all nodes to be selected with the
selection marquee.
3. Release the mouse button.
4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 to add nodes from other parts of the
Network View to the current selection.

Figure 89 - Selecting nodes via marquee selection

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Selecting Neighbors
Neighbors are the nodes linked directly to a node. Using this
procedure repeatedly selects a complete “connected graph”, which
is a partial Network View where every node has a path (either a
direct link or via intermediate nodes) to each other node.
To select neighbor nodes:
1. Select the initial nodes.
2. Choose NODES/SELECT NEIGHBORS from the Network Editor's
menu, or press CTRL-N on the keyboard.
3. To mark a complete connected sub-network, repeat the
previous step until all nodes within the partial Network View
are highlighted.

Figure 90 One node selected, then two neighbors via Ctrl-N, then a complete sub-
network

Selecting or deselecting all Nodes


To select all nodes or deselect all selected nodes, select NODES/DE-
SELECT ALL NODES from the Network Editor’s main menu or press
Ctrl-A on the keyboard.

Inverting the current selection


To invert the current selection, press Ctrl-I or select NODES/INVERSE
SELECTION from the Network Editor’s main menu. This will select
all unselected nodes and deselect all previously selected.

Selecting a Link
Only “first class” links can be selected. First class or “strong” links
can only exist between quotations or between codes. Selecting
links is similar to selecting nodes.

To select a link
1. Move the mouse pointer onto the label of the link to be
selected.

2. The mouse pointer changes its appearance to .


3. Click the left mouse button.
4. The selected link label will be displayed inverted. All
previously selected nodes/links are deselected.

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Selecting links is a convenient way to cut or flip multiple links (see
“Cutting Links” on page 224).

Deselecting Nodes and Links


To deselect a selected node or link
1. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard.
2. Click on a selected node or link.

To deselect all nodes and links


1. Move the mouse cursor over the Network Editor's
background.
2. Double-click the left mouse button

Moving Nodes
By moving nodes to different positions, you can modify an initial
layout created by the automatic layout procedure.
For precision placement of nodes, use the node alignment
procedures (see References at “Layout Menu” on page 378).
Note: Do not forget to save the Network View (and the HU itself
at the end of the session) if you want to make the new layout
permanent.

To move a single node


1. Move the mouse pointer onto the node to be selected.
2. Hold down the left mouse button.
3. Drag the selected node to its new position.

To move multiple nodes


1. Create a multiple selection of nodes as described above.
2. Hold down the CTRL-key and drag the selected nodes to their
new position.

To move nodes with the arrow keys


1. Select one or more nodes using the selection methods
described at “Selecting Nodes and Links” on page 218.
2. Use the arrow keys in combination with the CTRL key to
move the node(s) 1 pixel at a time in all four directions.
Ctrl-Z - Undo node Note: To undo an erroneous placement, use the function UNDO
placements POSITIONING or the key combination CTRL+Z.

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Linking Nodes
The links between nodes in a network are real connections between
the objects. Therefore, creating and removing links should not be
regarded as solely "cosmetic" operations. Links make permanent
changes to the HU.
There are several ways to link nodes but this one is recommended
A quick way to link for linking exactly two nodes:
two nodes.

To link two nodes


1. Place the mouse pointer over the source node. The mouse
pointer changes its appearance.
2. Hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard.
3. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer
to the target node. A "rubber band" between the mouse
pointer and the source node is drawn.
4. Release the SHIFT key.
5. Release the left mouse button.
6. Select a relation (applies to code-code and quote-quote links
only).

Note: A selection of relations is only offered if either two codes or


two quotations are linked.

Code-Code Relations Quote-Quote Relations

Figure 91 – Lists of standard code-code and quote-quote relations

To link more than two nodes


If more than one source node is to be linked with a target node, use
the following method.
1. Choose the source nodes.
2. Choose LINKS/LINK NODES from the Network Editor's main
menu.
3. Move the mouse pointer with the "rubber bands" to the target
node and click the left mouse button.

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4. In case of code-code and quotation-quotations links, you are
prompted to select a common relation that applies to all links.
You can modify the relations later, if needed.

To link code nodes using the list method


Besides using the Network Editor for creating links between codes,
you can also use the "CODES/LINK CODE TO" option available from
the main menu or the code context menu.
1. Select the target code (i.e., the general, broader concept) in
the Code Manager.
2. Select CODES/ LINK CODE TO:/CODES from the main menu.
3. Select the source code(s) from the multiple-choice list.
4. Select a relation that links the selected codes with the target
code. If needed, the relation can be modified.
One immediate effect of linking can be noticed when the Code
Groundedness: 1 Manager is open: the ‘density’ counter for all linked codes is
updated.
Density: 6
“Density” counts all direct links to other codes. For instance, if six
source codes are linked to one target code, the target code is
incremented by 6; each source code is incremented by one.

Note: Using CODES/LINK CODE TO: From the HU Editor’s main


menu, memos and quotations may also be linked to codes. Memos
can also be linked to other memos, quotations, or codes via the
menu option MEMO/ LINK MEMO TO. However, no specific relation
can be selected to link memos to other objects.

Creating code-code links and hyperlinks using the


Object Manager
Not really a topic for chapter Network Editor but should be
mentioned here. Codes and quotations can also be linked in the
Code Manager or Quotation Manager via drag & drop.
1. Identify the target item in the Object Manager’s list pane.
2. Select one or more source items in the Object Manager’s list
pane and drag them to the target item in the same pane.
3. Select a relation from the list of relations.

Figure 92 - Creating a Code-Code link in the Code Manager

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 223


This is only available for the Code and Quotation Managers.

Cutting Links
Several approaches to disconnecting previously linked nodes are
available.
The first method works for all types of links and is useful when
many nodes linked to one other node are to be disconnected:
1. Select one or more nodes whose connections to another node
are to be removed.
2. Choose LINKS/CUT LINKS from the Network Editor's menu.
3. Move the mouse pointer with the "rubber bands" to the target
node.
4. Click the left mouse button
Alternatively:
1. Click on one or more link labels.
2. Choose LINKS/CUT LINKS from the Network Editor's menu.
Or:
1. Move the mouse pointer over a link label.
2. Right click and choose CUT LINK from the context menu.

Note: The latter two methods work on "first class" links only:
code-code or quote-quote ("hyper") links.

Modifying Links
The type of a link (e.g., its Relation) can be changed in the
Network Editor.
1. Open a network view on a code.
2. Right click on a link label and select CHANGE RELATION from
the context menu.
3. The relation menu pops up. Select a different relation.
A very efficient way to manipulate first class links is offered by the
Link Managers (see “Link Management” on page 232).

Importing Nodes
There are several options available for including objects in a
Network View.
The Import Nodes window offers access to all available node
types. The list pane offers a context menu to select or deselect all
displayed objects.

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To import nodes via the Import Nodes dialog
1. Choose NODES/IMPORT
NODES from the Network Editor's menu. A window
opens, offering objects to be imported. Only objects that
are not already members of the present view are listed.
2. First, select the type of
node you want listed in the list pane from the node-type
drop-down list.
3. Select the objects to be
imported into the Network View.
4. Click IMPORT

The imported objects are placed along the upper left corner of the
Network Editor. You can either distribute them manually by
moving each node with the mouse, or you can place them
automatically by (mis-)using the option LAYOUT/SEMANTIC LAYOUT.

To import nodes from Object Managers using drag &


drop
As another option, you can import nodes by dragging objects from
Object Managers, the Network View Manager, the Family
Manager, the margin, or the Object Explorer into the Network
Editor. Drag & drop gives you better control of the initial position
of the imported nodes.
1. Open the Network View to which you want new objects
imported.
2. Open the manager(s) for objects (code list, memo list, etc.)
that you want to import into a Network View.
3. Select the node(s) you want to import into the Network View.
4. Drag the selected objects into the Network Editor.

To drag selections of a primary text into a Network


Editor
This method creates nodes from textual quotations or new
selections of text.
1. Open the PD that contains the text that you want to import
into a Network View.
2. Make a selection within the PD or select an existing
quotation.
3. Drag the selected text into the Network Editor.
4. Release the mouse button at the position you want the new
node to be placed. A new node is created and displayed. If a
quotation did not yet exist for the selection of text, it will now
be created.

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Drag text from other applications into a Network Editor
This method allows you to drag text from drag & drop-compliant
applications like Word™ into a Network Editor. Text dragged from
Word™ is converted into a new memo and displayed as a node.
1. Open the application from
which you want to drag selections of text in to a Network
Text dragged from Editor.
other applications 2. Mark the piece of text within
becomes a memo. the (other) application.
Text dragged from the 3. Move the mouse pointer over
PD pane becomes a the selected text. The pointer changes its appearance
quotation.
4. Hold down the left mouse
button and drag the selected text into the Network Editor.
5. Release the mouse button at the
position you want the new node to be placed with its upper left
corner. A new node is created and displayed.

Import Node Neighbors


This method imports all direct neighbors of the selected nodes into
the Network View. This option is also available from the node's
context menu. Importing direct neighbors allows you to construct a
connected Network View step-by-step. (In a connected graph, there
is always a direct or indirect path between any two nodes.)
To import neighbors of selected nodes:
1. Select the node(s) whose neighbors are to be included in the
Network View.
2. Choose NODES/IMPORT NEIGHBORS from the menu.
Note: This procedure imports neighbors of all types. If a code with
Hold down the many quotations is selected, this operation might fill the Network
Ctrl key to suppress the Editor with unwanted quotation nodes. To suppress the import of
import of quotations. quotations, hold down the CTRL key when issuing this command.
Note: If you have mistakenly imported the wrong or too many
Import neighbors node neighbors, select Nodes/UNDO IMPORT NEIGHBORS from the
can be undone. menu, or press the key combination Ctrl-Shift-Z.
Shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-Z.

Import Co-occurring Codes


For code nodes, there is a special import feature that exploits the
spatial relations of different codings. A code co-occurs with
another if it has been used to code quotations that are in close
proximity: embedded, overlapping, or directly following each
other. The proximity of coding applied to a text can also be
exploited via the Query Tool’s “co-occurence” proximity operator.
However, while the Query Tool yields quotations for explicitly
specified codes, the import function brings in only the codes.
To import co-occurring codes:

226 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


1. Select one or more codes in the Network Editor.
2. Choose NODES/IMPORT COOCCURRING CODES from the Network
Editor’s menu.

Removing Nodes from Network View


Removing nodes from the view simply removes the nodes from the
Network View. The nodes remain in the HU. Removed nodes can
‘Removing Nodes’ be “re-imported” at any time using the node import functions
does not delete the described previously. However, deleting nodes results in the
objects they represent! deletion of the objects they represent from the entire HU—erasing
‘Delete Entities,’ codes, quotations, etc.! Be cautious when deleting nodes!
however, does!!

To remove nodes from a Network View


1. Open the Network View.
2. Select the nodes to be excluded from the view.
3. From the Network Editor’s main menu, choose
NODES/REMOVE NODES FROM VIEW or press Ctrl-Del on the
keyboard. If you only want to exclude a single node, you may
also choose this option from the node’s context menu.
Note: If you only want to exclude nodes from a Network View, do
not select option DELETE NODE from the node’s context menu or
DELETE ENTITIES from the main menu. This option deletes the
object represented by this node from the HU.
Therefore, if you delete a code node, the code itself and all coding
involving this code is deleted from the HU. For this operation, no
undo option is available. The only way to undo a false deletion is to
close the HU without saving it and to open the most recent backup.

Node and Link Actions


Commands affecting selected codes or links are available via their
respective context menus. In addition, as described below, type-
specific procedures are activated when double-clicking a node.

Actions via Context Menus


Context menus can be activated on nodes and links. Dependent on
All nodes and the type of the node or link selected, these menus will offer
links have context specialized options from which to choose.
menus.
When the mouse pointer is over a node or a link, related
information is displayed in the status window of the Network
Editor.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 227


To open a context menu, move the mouse-pointer onto a node or
link and click the right mouse button.
Context menu for a code Context menu for a link
node

To execute node actions per double-click


1. Position the mouse pointer over a node.
2. Double-click the left mouse button
The table below describes the specific actions launched for the
different node types.

Note: If a comment or a memo’s text pops up, you can click inside
the pop-up window to open a text editor.

Node Type Double-Click Action


Codes Displays the code comment (definition).
Memos Displays the content of the memo.
Quotations Displays the full text of the quotation.
Primary Documents Displays the comment for the PD.
Families Displays the description/comment for the family.
Network Views Displays the description/comment for the Network View.
Hold down the Ctrl key to open this Network View in
another Network Editor

Layout Procedures
Two methods are available for the automatic placement of nodes.

Semantic Layout
Shortcut: CTRL-L Places the nodes within the window using the semantic layout
algorithm. This algorithm tries to place the nodes into optimal
positions using an invisible matrix of default positions. It tries to
place the nodes with the highest connectivity into center positions.

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By recursively applying the same method to the rest of the nodes
using neighboring positions of the first node placed, the algorithm
tries to avoid overlapping nodes and too many crossing links.
However, calculating an optimal solution is not possible in a
reasonable amount of time.
The user can exert some control on this algorithm via the preferred
layout direction of the relations used for the links, e.g., links using
the “is-a” relation go from bottom to top, if possible. You can
change the layout direction manually using the Relation Editor (see
“The Relation Editor” on page 233 for details)

Figure 93- Before and after applying Semantic Layout to a Network View

The results of the automatic layout procedure are typically quite


usable and provide at least a good starting point for subsequent
manual refinement of nodes' placement. If you are not happy with
the layout produced, you can revert to the previous placement by
using UNDO POSITIONING (Ctrl-Z).

Topological Layout
This special layout procedure tries to create a linear list of nodes
positioned from the upper left to the lower right. This sequence is
the result of a depth first traversal of the graph. The algorithm
tries to resolve as many constraints between any two nodes so that
a node with the least dependencies is made the first node
positioned in the upper left corner, and the node with the most
dependencies on other nodes is positioned in the lower right corner
of the Network Editor.

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Figure 94 - A set of activities with local constraints

In the example above, the dependencies between several activities


necessary to get dressed are described by local constraints between
the nodes. From these local constraints, a global solution is
generated: One correct way to get dressed. The "is-cause-of "
relation was used to describe constraints. The only condition a
relation must meet is that it has the "transitive" attribute.

Figure 95 - Topological sort always results in a linear, diagonal placement of the nodes

Such algorithms are typically in use in project management


software. You can use a directed relation like "before" to represent
time dependencies between events ("socks before shoes,” "shirt
before tie,” "marriage before divorce") and then compute a possible
sequence of events.

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Creating Output
Several output options are available for Network Views. The range
is from printing the layout (via copying to the clipboard in a variety
of formats both textual and graphical) and by saving a Network
View to a file.

Printing Networks
Before printing a Network View the first time, you may prefer to
setting some general options (include title, print border, etc.)
(SPECIALS/PREFERENCES/ PRINTING see “Printing” on page 387 for
detail).
You can either print the entirety or part of a Network View. To
print only parts of a Network View, highlight the nodes you wish
to print.

To Print a Network View


1. Open the Network View and arrange all nodes to be printed.
2. If you want to print a selection of nodes only, select these
nodes (for multiple selection, hold down the Ctrl key).
3. Choose NETWORK/PRINT NETWORK VIEW from the Network
Editor's menu.
4. Check "Selection" to print the selected nodes only.
5. If the size of the network view determined by the node layout
exceeds a single page, depending on current printer settings,
scaling or multi-page print will be offered as a choice:

6. Make your choice and the network view will be printed.

Network Views for other Applications


Copy to Clipboard
Menu option NETWORK/COPY TO CLIPBOARD copies the network
view to the Windows clipboard. From the clipboard it can be
included in Word or other “foreign” documents. The Network

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 231


View (all nodes or selected nodes only) is copied to the clipboard
in a variety of formats:
• A textual description of the contained nodes (a node synopsis)
• An Windows Enhanced Metafile for high quality graphics to
be used in reports. Depending on the processing capabilities of
the target application, results may sometimes be less than
optimal.
• A bitmap file that has more accurate layout and fonts, but less
quality when printed.
In other applications (Word, PowerPoint, etc) a selection or all of
these formats are offered via PASTE SPECIAL.

Save Network View as Graphic File


You can save your Network View as a graphic file, either as a
bitmap (BMP) or as a Windows Enhanced Meta file (EMF). You
can insert this file into reports, Word, PowerPoint, etc. Choose
SAVE AS GRAPHICS FILE .

Note: This function does not save the network as a reusable


structure for import to other HUs. In order to accomplish this, visit
chapter “To export the code network” on page 240.

Link Management
For a very efficient way to review and edit first class links (code-
code links and hyperlinks), two new tools are introduced with
ATLAS.ti 5, the Code-Link and the Hyper-Link Managers.
Links can be edited, flipped, and removed, and a Network Editor
can be opened on selected links, e.g., all nodes affected. A
comment can be viewed and edited for the selected link. Last but
not least, and typical for all Object Managers, links can be sorted
by criteria such as the target or source object, the relation used, etc.
Changes made to the links are immediately displayed in any
Network Editor that currently display the links.

The Code- Link Manager


The two figures below show a Code Link Manager and a Network
View opened on two selected links. In the left figure the two links
are selected and Flip Link from the context menu is selected. The
right figure displays the effect. The Code-Link Manager and the
Network View show the changed links.

232 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 96 -Flipping two links in the Code-Link Manager

The Hyper-Link Manager


The Hyper-Link Manager works exactly like the Code-Link
Manager, only that it is populated by hyperlinks.

Figure 97 - The Hyper-Link Manager

The Relation Editor


The Relation Editor allows the creation, display, and editing of
relations that are used for linking codes to codes, or quotations to
quotations. Explicit relations can only be used when connecting
codes to codes or quotations to quotations. Connections between
codes and quotations, memos and quotations, memos and codes,
and families and their members cannot be named and specified by
the user.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 233


Figure 98 - The Relation Editor

What Can be Edited?


Cosmetic and descriptive as well as structural aspects of relations
can be edited with the Relation Editor.

Cosmetics
Cosmetic aspects include the label used when displaying links in a
Network Editor; the menu text displayed when creating a
connection; and the width, solidity, and color of the line connecting
the nodes linked with this relation.

Preferred Layout Direction


A more sophisticated “cosmetic” property is the preferred layout
direction. By using this relation characteristic, the user can assert
some control on the automatic layout algorithm. Indeed, this option
justifies the name “semantic layout”.

Formal Property
The formal property associated with a relation has a cosmetic effect
and it controls the “procedural semantics” of the semantic
operators in the Query Tool. When you want to utilize the semantic
operators (SUB, UP, SIB), transitive relations need to be used.

Comment
As with all entities in ATLAS.ti, a comment can be attached to a
relation. The text entered as a relation comment is displayed within

234 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


a Network Editor after opening a context menu on a link, or when
selecting DISPLAY RELATION.
Bear in mind that a comment written for a relation is different from
a comment written for a link. The comment for a relation is of a
global nature and defines the relation type: e.g., what is meant by
the relation “is associated with.” A link using this relation connects
two specific codes. When writing a comment for this link, the
meaning is local and explains why two codes were connected using
this relation.

Editing Relations
The Relation Editor is available from the HU’s main menu:
NETWORKS/RELATION EDITOR, or can be launched from the Network
Editor’s LINKS menu. A submenu offers the choice between editing
Code-Code relations or Hyper-Links (quote-quote relations).

To edit a relation
You can change the properties of relations. If these relations are
already in use by the currently loaded HU, changes will be stored
along with the HU when saving it.
1. Open the Relation Editor: NETWORKS/RELATION EDITOR.
2. In the list of relations, click on the relation to be edited
3. Change any of the values
4. Click on APPLY
If you open the Relation Editor from within a Network Editor, all
changes are “broadcast” to the editor and you see the changes in
the display of the affected links.

Note: When opening the Relation Editor from the main menu, all
but the preferred layout direction settings are realized immediately
in all currently open Network Editors.

Creating New Relations

Note: User-defined relations are only available for code-code or


quotation-quotation links. All other links use "hard-wired" relations
(like the ones between quotations and codes).

New relations are stored together with the HU in which they are
used. When starting ATLAS.ti 5, the default relations as defined in
the file default.rel are loaded. This file is located in the user system
folder that can conveniently be accessed via
EXTRAS/EXPLORER/USER SYSTEM FOLDER. When creating new
relations, it is suggested that you save these relations to the
default.rel file. If desired, different REL files can be created and
loaded.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 235


To create a new relation
New relations can be created when linking codes or quotations, or
independently of any linking activity. In both cases, entries are
created with the Relation Editor.
1. When linking codes or
quotations, select the option OPEN RELATION EDITOR instead of
one of the offered relations.
Or, select NETWORKS/RELATION EDITOR from the main menu.
2. In the Relation Editor, select
the menu option EDIT/NEW RELATION.
3. Enter a short unique ID for the
relation you want to create. The internal ID is displayed in the
list of relations in column ID.
4. Next, enter a label 1, a label 2, and the menu text. In the
Network Editor, you have three options to display the name
of the relation (see figure below). As a view option, you can
either display label 1, label 2, or the menu label. If there is
sufficient space in the network, you can select to display the
menu label, which is usually longer. Choose an abbreviation
for labels 1 and 2 as a display option when space is limited.
Suggestion: Choose a symbol for label 1, a short word for
label 2.

The menu label equals the menu text. The text entered in the
field ‘Menu Text’ is used in the relation menu and as a label.
In addition, the menu text is also used when outputting
networked codes in the form of quasi sentences
(CODES/OUTPUT/CODE HIERARCHY or CODE NEIGHBORS).
5. Next select the line style (width, color, solid or dashed).
6. If you wish, you can specify the preferred layout direction
that is used to automatically draw the picture when opening a
Network View on an object.
7. The final attribute to enter is the "formal property" of the
relation: "transitive," "symmetric," or "asymmetric."
8. Optionally, you can describe the newly created relation in the
text pane at the bottom of the Relation Editor.
9. In order to save the new relation, select FILE/SAVE from the
Relation Editor menu. A file dialog window opens. The
suggested file name is default.rel. It is recommended to use
this file as your standard repository for relations. It is possible
to create different sets of relations by entering a new file
name (see Managing Relations below). If you do so, you need
236 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
to load the desired set every time you start ATLAS.ti. (In the
Relation Editor, select FILE/LOAD RELATIONS.) By default, the
standard file default.rel is loaded.
You can modify the entries at any time. In the Relation Editor,
click on the relation and overwrite the existing entries. Save the
relations. You can also modify the standard relations that came
with ATLAS.ti, translate them to your language, change the labels
or the menu text, modify the line color, etc.

Managing Relations
Using the Relation Editor, different sets of relations can be created
Create sets of and stored in separate files (using FILE/SAVE RELATIONS). For
relations that reflect instance, you could have a set of relations related to argumentation
your methodology. theory, or a set based on Grounded Theory relations. When starting
ATLAS.ti, the default relation set is loaded (i.e., the file
default.rel).
If you have created a new set and stored it in a new REL file, you
need to load it after starting ATLAS.ti 5. To do so, open the
Relation Editor and choose FILE/LOAD RELATIONS. This adds the
new relation set to the already loaded default set.
If you want to delete relations from the default set, or from any
newly created set, select a relation in the Relation Editor and
choose the menu option FILE/DELETE RELATION. When you have
removed all unwanted relations and want to make the changes
permanent, you need to save the set (select FILE/SAVE RELATIONS).

Cosmetics - Network Display Properties


There are numerous options available to alter the appearance of
nodes, links, and even the background.
However, all settings created using the Display menu of Network
Editor are lost after closing the editor. If you want to change colors
and fonts globally for all Network Views, you need to change these
settings under NETWORKS/PREFERENCES (see “Network Editor
Preferences” on page 384).

Colors
The color of the Network Editor's background and the color of
nodes can be set independently. Choose DISPLAY/SET COLORS and
then one of the options from the submenu. You are offered a
standard color chooser dialog from which to pick a color.

Auto-Color Mode
Auto-Color mode visualizes the coding and modeling state of the
codes. This mode affects code nodes only. Code nodes are
automatically assigned a color according to their groundedness and

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 237


density. Groundedness of a code (i.e., the number of associated
quotations) increases the red part of the node color (note “Magic 3”
in the figure below). Density (i.e., the number of links to other
codes) increases the blue part (“Magic” is the winner in the figure
below).

This makes codes that are heavily or seldom used for coding or
model building easily identifiable.

Fonts
The font used for nodes and links can be set independently
choosing DISPLAY/SET FONTS from the Network Editor’s main
menu.

Node and Link Appearance


Under the Display menu of the Network Editor you find a large
variety of options to alter the display characteristics of nodes and
links. Some of these options affect all nodes regardless of their
type. Other options change the display of certain node types only.

238 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Node Icon
The node type icon can be switched on and off for all nodes
by selecting the menu option DISPLAY/USE NODE BITMAPS, or
by pressing the key combination CTRL-ALT-B. The small
image used as a node icon increases the distinctiveness of
the nodes, especially when a mixture of node types exists in
a Network View. Nonetheless, when space runs low, you
may prefer to switch off the icons.
A node can be displayed with a “3D” border, or with a drop
shadow. To switch between the 3D and the shadowed view,
select the menu option DISPLAY/DISPLAY NODES 3D or press
the key combination CTRL-3.

Node Verbosity
You have several options to control the amount of
information displayed in a node. Quotes can be displayed
Id only: with just their ID or with the complete selection of text they
Id & comment: represent. Of course, to decide which level of verbosity
makes sense, you need to examine how many nodes
populate the Network View and the overall size of the text.
To change the verbosity of quotes, select the menu option
DISPLAY/QUOTATION VERBOSITY.

Link Display
There are numerous ways to display links via menu item
DISPLAY/LINK DISPLAY.
First, choose from three different ways of displaying the
label: choose to display label 1, label 2, or the menu text as
defined in the Relation Editor. See “The Relation Editor” on
page 233 for further detail.
The second option is to display labels with a box around
them (or not), or to display them rotated alongside the line
connecting two codes or quotes.
Further display options are explained in the preferences section
“Display Menu” on page 381.

Miscellaneous Network Procedures


This section describes useful procedures not covered by the
explanations found in “The Conceptual Level: Networks” on page
209.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 239


Theory Transfer
Theory transfer supports By "Theory Transfer" we mean the re-use of codes, relations, and
a deductive approach to code networks produced in one project in subsequent projects.
analyzing qualitative Two different strategies are supported:
data and the application
of "proven" theories to • The re-use of a "flat"
other domains. (unstructured) list of codes including names, code definitions,
author, date of creation and modification in other HUs.
• The transfer of rich
representations of codes (including the connections between
codes).

"Flat" Code Migration


The first strategy--using unstructured code lists--includes the
output of all or a selection of codes from one HU into a file and the
later import of this code file into another HU. Step-by-step
instruction is provided elsewhere (see “Transferring Codes from
Other Projects” on page 121).
The method of flat code migration is useful when working in teams
and when a code list is first developed on one computer. This way,
other team members can easily import the agreed upon list of codes
into their HUs. Other potential applications for this function
include testing reliability, or starting deductive structural theory
work from scratch. When testing for reliability, a given code base
can be used on the same material by different authors.

Semantic Network Migration


This method transfers a relatively complete "theory" into a new
project. Like the flat code migration method described above, two
steps are necessary. First, the network of codes needs to be
exported and saved as an external file. Second, this file is imported
into a new HU (or an existing HU).

To export the code network


1. Load the HU that contains the "theory" you want to migrate.
2. If needed set the code filter to contain only those codes to be
processed in the next step.
3. Choose NETWORKS/EXPORT CODE NETWORK from the HU
Editor's main menu.
4. Enter a name for the network file. By default, the name of the
HU with the extension NET is offered.
The file contains a textual description, which can be processed by
the import step described in the following directions.

240 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


To import a code network
1. Load the HU into which the network of codes shall be
imported.
2. Choose NETWORKS/IMPORT CODE NETWORK from the HU
Editor's main menu.
3. Select a network file (extension .NET).

Conflict Resolution
When importing networks into an HU that already contains
networked codes, the following internal strategy is applied to avoid
conflicts: Existing codes and links are not modified, inconsistent
links are not created (e.g. direct cycles).

Cleaning Up
While the situation of importing homonyms is controlled by the
conflict resolution strategy, the system cannot automatically handle
unwanted synonyms. Especially when importing codes and
networks created by others into a non-empty HU, such synonyms
(e.g., "man" and "mankind") might clutter the name space of codes.
You can clean up by merging the synonyms (see “Merging Codes”
on page 124).

Scaled Theory Transfer


Besides the two strategies described above, you can use the HU
merge procedure to gain more control over what components are to
be transferred. Code lists with "rich" representations of codes can
be extracted from a given "theory template" HU; Network Views,
memos, and/or PDs may be included. This method also has the
advantage that it is a "one-pass" procedure and there is no need to
create extra files containing the codes or networks to be
transferred. Unlike the Semantic Network Migration method
described above, it also allows you to assert more control over how
conflicts with existing codes and links are to be resolved.
For details please refer to “Merging Hermeneutic Units” on page
286.

Merging Codes using the Network Editor


Clean up synonymous The essentials of merging codes have already been described
codes using the Code elsewhere (see “Merging Codes” on page 124).
Merge procedure. Below we describe how merging codes can be accomplished in a
Network Editor.
The figures below illustrate that the merging of two or more codes
is not a trivial task, because all of their references, links, and
comments need to be transferred to the target code in a consistent
manner.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 241


Note: Using the network method is the "inverse" procedure of the
list method described earlier (see “Merging Codes Using the List
Method” on page 124). Using the list method, you select the target
code first. Then you choose the codes to be merged. Merging codes
in a network editor is the inverse. You select the codes to be
merged first and then you select the target code.

Two codes, "Magic 7"


and "Magic 3," have
been selected. Using
"Merge Codes," the two
codes will be merged
into "Number Magic."

Figure 99 - Code Merge: Before the merge

After the merge: The two


former sub codes of
"Number Magic" -
"Magic 3" and "Magic
7" - have been merged
into "Number Magic".
All references to
quotations, other codes,
and memos have been
"inherited" by "Number
Magic".

Figure 100 - Code Merge: After the merge

242 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


To merge codes using the Network Editor
1. Open or create the Network View that contains the codes to
be merged.
2. Select all "source" codes to be merged into one target code.
Make sure that the target node is already visible in the
Network Editor.
3. Choose NODES/MERGE CODES from the Network Editor's main
menu.
4. Move the mouse to the target node and click the left mouse
button.
The target node "inherits" all the references, i.e., quotations, links
to other codes and memos, and comments, into the incorporated
node(s).

Splitting Codes
At last, ATLAS.ti 5 offers a rudimentary split code function. There
is still some work involved in splitting a code, and therefore it is
called the ‘Poor Man’s Split Code’ function. When clicking on
CODES/ MISCELLANEOUS/SPLIT CODE, the following window opens,
providing a summary instruction on what to do in order to split a
code:

Splitting codes the hard


way …

Below, step-by-step instruction is offered. As an example, the code


“Number magic” is split. Above, in the section on merging codes,
we merged the two codes “Magic 3” and “Magic 7” into the
“Number magic” code (see “Merging Codes using the Network
Editor” on page 241). Before the merge, sixteen quotations were
attached to the code “Magic 3”, three quotations to the code
“Magic 7, and one quotation to the code “Number magic”. Now we
show how to revert this action.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 243


To split the previously merged code “Number
magic”
1. Select “Number Magic” in the Code Manager.
2. Open a Network Editor on this code. The network editor will
display “Number Magic” and all its direct neighbors, except
quotations.
3. Select code “Number Magic” in the network editor and select
NODES/IMPORT NEIGHBORS from the network editor’s main
menu to import its quotations..
4. Select NODES/DUPLICATE CODES to create an exact clone of
“Number Magic” which is immediately displayed in the
network editor as well. The clone inherits all quotations, code
links, family memberships and other relations from the
original code. You will see that all links originating from
“Number Magic” also appear with the newly created clone
“Number Magic [Clone: 1]”. You will very likely end up with
lots of nodes and links cluttering the screen.
5. Rename clone “Number magic [Clone:1]” via
NODES/REMNAME into “Magic 3+7”. This is not mandatory, but
“Magic 3+6” reflects much better what it stands for (“Magic
3” and “Magic 7”).
6. Enlarge the network window to fill the entire screen.
7. To de-clutter the display, select menu option
LAYOUT/SEMANTIC LAYOUT. This distributes all nodes in a more
ordered fashion. It might be necessary to move some nodes
individually for a cleaner layout.
The network editor might now look as in the figure below:

Figure 101 – Step 2: After import of all neighbors for “Number magic”

244 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


In order to revert back to the original state, two splitting actions are
necessary. First, we revert the code “Number magic” back to its
original state. Then we split code “Magic 3+7”.
8. Select all nodes that should no longer be referenced by the
original node. In the above example, these are all but one
quotation node (1:29) and one code node (“Magic”). A
convenient way to select these nodes is to select code
“Number magic”. Then select all its neighbors by issuing
NODES/SELECT NEIGHBORS from the menu. Hold drown the
Ctrl-key and deselect “Magic”, “Number magic”, “Magic
3+7”, and “1:29”.

Figure 102 All nodes to be unlinked from "Number magic" are selected

9. Select LINKS/CUT LINKS from the menu. Red “rubber bands”


appear, connecting the selected nodes with the mouse cursor.
10. Move the mouse pointer over node “Number magic” and
click the left mouse button. This unlinks all selected nodes
from the original code.
11. Then select the node(s) that should be referenced by the
original “Number magic” only: quotation 1:29, and code
“Magic.”
12. Unlink the two nodes, which should now be the only nodes
selected in the network view, from clone “Magic 3+7.”
The original code “Number magic” references one quotation and
code “Magic” and is (almost) reverted to its original state.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 245


Figure 103 – Number Magic - almost - in its original state.

Now we have to split “Magic 3+7” into “Magic 3” and “Magic 7”.
13. Select code “Magic 3+7” and choose NODES/DUPLICATE CODES
from the menu. The new clone “Magic 3+7 [Clone:1]” is
displayed in the network editor.
14. Now rename “Magic 3+7” to “Magic 3” and its clone “Magic
3+7 [Clone:1]” to “Magic 7”. We are almost there!
15. All you need to do now is to remove the irrelevant links from
each of the codes using the procedures described above.
16. Select nodes “Magic 3” and “Magic 7” and choose
NODES/LINK NODES from the menu.
17. Click on code node “Number magic” and select relation “is
part of”. We are now back at the original state!

246 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 104: After splitting the code magic 3+7

Network Views as Graphical Tables of Contents


If you use graphical PDs, you can use Network Views to display
"thumbnails" (small-sized copies) of these PDs.

To create a graphical content table


1. Create a new Network View by choosing NETWORKS/NEW
NETWORK VIEW from the HU Editor's main menu.
2. Import some graphical PDs (see “Importing Nodes” on page
224).
3. From the Network Editor menu, choose DISPLAY/FULL IMAGE
FOR PDS.

4. Rearrange the nodes in the Network View.


5. Save the Network View.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 247


Figure 105 - Network View as graphical content table. Its name reflects this usage.

You can change the size of the thumbnail images by setting the
width in the Network Preference window.
Change the size of the
thumbnail images 1. From within the Network
Editor, select SPECIAL/PREFERENCES, or from the main menu
select NETWORKS/PREFERENCES.
2. Click on the Nodes tab. Next to the option ‘Full image for
PDs’ on the right, you see a small entry field entitled: Width.
The standard width is set to 200.
3. Change the width and click Apply. Close the Network
Preferences window.
4. Close and reopen the Network View in order for the changes
to take effect.

248 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Hypertext

A network with text (or other media) as nodes is often referred to


as a hypertext. The original sequential text is de-linearized, broken
down into pieces that are then reconnected, making it possible to
traverse from one piece of data to another piece of data regardless
of their original positions.

Note: The term “hyperspace” is a science fiction term describing a


method of high-speed travel using higher dimensional "space
holes" as shortcuts. When using the "hypertext" function in
ATLAS.ti, you travel through a hyperspace of data overcoming
distances between lines of text (or data segments) instantaneously
using ATLAS.ti hyperlinks as shortcuts through space.

The procedures described so far have focused on the creation of


code networks. Direct linking of data-segments (quotations) to
other data-segments offers similar flexibility in choosing and
defining relations. Almost all of the editing functions described for
code networks can also be used when connecting two or more
quotations.

Note: Code-code and quote-quote links are the only types of


network connections that allow you to assign a name to the
connection that appears on the line or arrow that runs between the
objects.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 249


Representing the “Rhetoric of Text”
While a code offers fast
access to sets of data
segments, it defines only a
simple relation between
them, namely equivalence.
Hyperlinks, which directly
relate data segments,
express more differentiated
relationships between
quotations: contradiction,
support, illustration, etc.
No code is needed to
connect quotation Q1 with
one that it contradicts (Q2).

Figure 106 - Hypertext captures the macrostructure of a text

Cross-references between text passages are very common even in


conventional media like books - just think of religious and juridical
texts, literature, journals etc. Footnotes and endnotes are another
common deviation from the pure linearity of sequential text.
However, in conventional media, not much navigational support is
provided for "traversing" between the pieces of data that reference
each other.
Today's largest Computer-related hypertext applications include, for example,
hypertext system: the online help systems that display operational information in suitable
World Wide Web small chunks (compared to lengthy printed information), but with a
considerable amount of linkage to other pieces of information. A
well-known hypermedia structure is the World Wide Web with its
textual, graphical and other multimedia information distributed
world-wide.

Benefits of Hypertext
What are the advantages of direct connections between text
segments, compared to the traditional procedures of qualitative text
analysis?

What Codes Cannot Do


Maybe we should ask a different question first: How can you
express that statement X in text A contradicts statement Y in text

250 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


B, or how can you retrieve all contradictory statements of a specific
utterance if all you have is codes and their associations with the
data?
Pure classification is not The "code & retrieve" paradigm, which is so prevalent for many
always adequate systems supporting the qualitative researcher, is not adequate for
certain types of analysis. In formal terms, attaching codes to
chunks of data creates named sets of segments with almost no
internal structure. This is not to say that partitioning lots of text
segments into sets is not useful. On the contrary, classification
leads to manageable amounts of segments that later can be
retrieved with the help of the attached code words. But this may
not be the only way you want to look at your data.
Hypertext makes text-text The concept of hypertext introduces explicit relations between
relations explicit passages. These links have to be built manually and result from
an intellectual effort. The system cannot decide for you that
segment x is in contradiction to segment y. But after the work of
establishing the links, you can make semantically richer
retrievals: "Show statements contrary to statement x." Hypertext
allows you to create different paths through the data you are
analyzing. For example, you may create a timeline different from
the strict sequence of the original text.

Graphical Hyperlink Maps


ATLAS.ti incorporates procedures for creating and browsing
hypertext structures. It allows for two or more quotations being
connected using named relations. Further, you can create graphical
maps (using Network Views) to make parts of your hyperspace
accessible in a comfortable way. Hyperlinks may connect
quotations (textual, graphical, multimedia) across documents
(inter-textual links) or may link segments within the same primary
document (intra-textual links). The natural boundary for
hyperlinks, like all structures in ATLAS.ti, is the Hermeneutic
Unit.
The hypertext Network
View to the right
displays quotations in
maximum "verbosity" set
to "full text." Other node
types can also be
included in the Network
View, like the memo in
the upper left corner.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 251


Figure 107 - A network of quotations

General Procedures
Star or Chain connections
When linking quotations, you have the option to create a “chain”, a
“star” or a combination of both. Below, a chain and star
connection are illustrated.
A hyperlink chain
connects quotations
sequentially

Figure 108 - A hyperlink chain

When creating this chain, the quotation 2:26 served as a source


quotation and was linked to the target quotation 2:11. In order to
continue the chain, the target quotation 2:11 became the source
quotation and was linked to the new target quotation 1:8.
A hyperlink star
connects many
quotations from one
source quotation.

Figure 109 – A hyperlink star

When creating a star, there is one source quotation and multiple


target quotations. In the above example, the source quotation is
2:11, which is linked to five target quotations via a number of
different relations.

Hyperlinks in the Quotation Manager


In list views, linked All hyperlinked quotations can easily be recognized in the
quotations are prefixed Quotation Manager. All source quotations are marked with an
with angle brackets. opening angle bracket <, all target quotations with a closing
bracket >. If a quotation is both, source and target (as the case
when creating chains), then both brackets are used as prefix <>.

252 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Figure 110 – Hyperlinked quotation in the Quotation Manager

Hyperlinks in the Margin Area


When working with hyperlinks, it is advisable to set the margin
The margin is an display options as follows:
optimal work space for
navigating hyperlinks

To open this context menu, right click on a blank space in the


margin area.

Creating Hyperlinks
ATLAS.ti offers a variety of options for creating and traversing
hypertext links. Similar to the linking of codes, you may create
hyperlinks using a list method or the network-editor. In addition,
hypertext links can be created "in context", or via Drag & Drag in
the Quotation Manager and in the margin area.

Creating Hyperlinks using the List Method


Quotations can be linked with a method already described for
connecting codes using the Hyperlink menu option (cf. “To link
code nodes using the list method” on page 223). When using this
method, the quotations to be connected must already exist. It is
possible to create a chain and a star connection using this method,
but the procedures are slightly different than those described in the
“star and chain connections” section.

To create a chain:
1. Select a source quotation (either in the Quotation Manager or
by clicking on a quotation bracket in the margin area).
2. Select HYPERLINK/CREATE LINK SOURCE from the main menu.
3. Select the target quotation.
4. Select HYPERLINK/CREATE LINK TARGET from the main menu.
The relation menu pops up.
5. Select a relation to link the two selected quotations (or create
a new relation by selecting OPEN RELATION EDITOR).

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 253


To create a star:
1. Select a source quotation (either in the Quotation Manager or
by clicking on a quotation bracket in the margin area).
2. Select HYPERLINK/CREATE LINK SOURCE from the main menu.
3. Select HYPERLINK/CREATE HYPERLINKS PER LIST from the main
menu. The relation menu pops up.
4. Select multiple target quotations from the list and click on the
OK Button.
5. The Relation menu pops up. Select one relation. If not all
target quotations should be connected to the source quotation
using the same relation, you need to change the relations in a
second step (see “Modifying Hyperlinks” on page 255).

Creating Hyperlinks in Context


Other than the list method described above, linking quotations in
context not only allows you to connect previously generated
quotations, but you can also mark new data passages to become
part of the star or chain in the process. These passages then also
become registered as quotations.

To create a hyperlink in context:


1. Mark a passage or select an existing quotation.
2. Right click on the selected
passage/quotation, and select CREATE LINK SOURCE from the
context menu. Alternatively, you can click on the Source
Anchor button in the primary document toolbar.
3. Mark another passage or select an already existing quotation
to which the "source" is to be connected.
4. Right click on the target
quotation and select CREATE LINK TARGET from the context
menu. Alternatively, click on the Target Anchor button
in the primary document toolbar.
5. The Relation menu pops up. Select the type of relation to be
used to connect the two quotations.
6. Next, select whether you want to create a chain or a star. If
you do not want to connect more than these two quotations,
select the option FINI.
7. If you select the option CHAIN or STAR, you can proceed to
connect further quotations. To do so, continue with step three.
To validate the established structure, you can open a Network
Editor on the source or target quotation by right-clicking on the
quotation and selecting OPEN NETWORK VIEW.

254 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Creating Hyperlinks in the Quotation Manager
This method can be applied to connect one or more existing
quotations to one target quotation.
1. Select one or more source quotations in the Quotation
Manager (multiple selections can be done in the standard
way).
2. Hold down the left mouse
button and drag the quotation(s) to a target quotation in the
Quotation Manager.
3. Release the left mouse button. The Relation menu opens and
you can specify the relation to be used for the hyperlinks.
4. The new hyperlinks are created.

Creating Hyperlinks in Margin Area


Like the method described above, creating hyperlinks in the margin
area is best suitable for connecting two quotations that are in close
proximity to each other.
1. Select a quotation bracket in the margin area.
2. Hold down the left mouse
button and drag the bracket onto another quotation bracket.
3. Release the left mouse button. The Relation menu opens.
Select a relation. The linking procedure ends here.

Note: dropping a bracket onto another quotation displayed


alongside a bracket, replaces the existing hyperlink.

Modifying Hyperlinks
There are two place to modify existing hyperlinks, the Network
Editor and the Hyperlink Manager (see “Link Management” on
page 232).

To modify links in the Network Editor


1. Open a network view on a hyperlinked quotation (e.g., by
right clicking on a quotation and then selecting the option
OPEN NETWORK VIEW from the context menu).
2. In the Network Editor, right click on a link label and select
CHANGE RELATION from the context menu.
3. The relation menu pops up. Select a different relation.

Building Text Webs with the Network Editor


The Network Editor can be used to link quotations much in the
same way it is used to link codes to form semantic networks.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 255


To create hyperlinks using a Network Editor:
1. Click on a quotation in the quotation list
2. Open a network editor by either
3. choosing OPEN NETWORK from the QUOTATIONS menu or the
marked quotations context menu (move the mouse cursor into
the marked region) or clicking the Open Network button of
the Quotation Manager.
4. A Network Editor opens and shows the selected quotation as
a node. If the quotation already has neighbors (codes, memos,
quotations), their nodes are displayed as well
5. Choose NODES/IMPORT NODES from the Network Editor's main
menu to open the Import dialog box.
6. Select node type "Quotation."
7. In the multiple choice dialog box select all quotations that
you want to link to the selected quotation. You may use the
standard Windows techniques for multiple selections using
the Shift and Ctrl keys. For multiple selection techniques
consult “Multiple Selection” on page 394
8. Click the Import button. All selected quotations are arranged
from the upper left to the lower right corner in the Network
Editor. You may close the Import dialog box now.
9. Choose LAYOUT/SEMANTIC LAYOUT from the Network Editor's
main menu for better access to the nodes (if you imported
many).
10. Select the imported quotations.
11. Select LINKS/LINK NODES from the main menu.
12. Move the "rubberbands" to the target node, the quotation you
opened the network on, and click on it.
13. Choose an appropriate relation for each pair of linked
quotations from the relation menu that has popped up.
14. The only difference to linking codes is a different set of
hypertext relations (e.g., "continued at", "supports").
15. After your "map" of text nodes is being built, save it as a
Network View. You might want to use it later to traverse your
hypertext paths.

Defining New Hyperlink Relations


The procedure for defining or editing hypertext relations is
equivalent to the methods described for editing code-code
relations. You may either define a new relation by choosing the
bottom option from the list of relations when actually creating a
link, or you may use a hyper-links relation editor, that is identical
to the code-code relations editor. Newly defined or edited relations
must also be saved to disk.

256 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Traversing Hyperlinks

The "In-Place" Method


You may "travel" directly from a highlighted "Hyper"-quotation to
its neighbors.

To display hyperlinked neighbors "in-place"


1. Activate a quotation with a double-click in the Quotation
Manager.
2. Move the mouse cursor into the highlighted area of the
document and click the right mouse button.
3. From the context menu choose SHOW LINKS.
4. From the list of links, choose the quotation, which you want
to inspect.

Figure 111 - List of links for the selected quotation

Note: Steps one and two can be combined by pressing the Ctrl key
while clicking the right mouse button.

The quotation "on the other end" of the hyperlink is displayed in a


pop-up window.
To directly move to this quotation in context, click into the pop-up
display, or click outside the pop-up to cancel.
The margin area makes the movement between text passages easy.
Whereas you have to make two mouse clicks in the last example,
you can simply read the names of hyperlinked quotes in the margin
area.

To traverse hypertext links using the margin area


1. Switch on the margin area.
2. If needed, open up the properties context menu in the margin
area and select OBJECT TYPES/HYPERLINKS.
3. Double-click a hyperlink displayed in the margin. The
quotation to the left of the margin area is highlighted and a
pop-up window displays the hyperlink's contents.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 257


4. To display the hyperlink in context (highlighted inside the
primary document pane) click into the pop-up window.
Clicking outside the pop-up window cancels the process.

The margin area


permits a very intuitive
traversal of hyper links.

Figure 112 - Direct hyperlink traversal using margin area

The Network Editor Method


To move to the text of a quotation that appears in a network, right
click over the quotation node and choose DISPLAY IN CONTEXT. You
are moved to the section of the Primary Document where the
quotation resides.

To import the neighbors of a quotation


The Network Editor lets you import the neighbors of selected
Remove all recently nodes by choosing IMPORT NEIGHBORS from the Network Editor's
imported objects with NODE menu (see description in section “Import Node Neighbors”
CTRL+SHIFT+Z on page 226). Importing the neighbors of a quotation, that is part of
a hypertext, not only retrieves linked objects of type "quotations"
but also yields all codes, memos and other quotations directly
connected to it.

Note: To reduce clutter by only importing neighbors that are


quotations, and not codes, memos or documents, hold down the
CTRL key when selecting the option from the Network Editor's
menu. If you want the neighbors of only one quotation imported,
open the context menu of this quotation and choose IMPORT
NEIGHBORS.

Editing Hyperlink Comments


The links between quotations use fully qualified relations, like
Use the margin area to the links between codes and unlike the simple association
display and edit link between a code and a quotation. As “first-class” objects, these
comments. links can be assigned a dedicated comment.
Such a comment could explain why quotation A has been linked to
quotation B. Link comments can be accessed, displayed and edited
from three locations: the margin area, the Hyperlink Manager and
the Network Editor.
The margin area has the advantage that it is readily available
during scrolling through the primary documents. The Network
Editor method offers a visual approach to accomplishing this goal.
258 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
Create a network view of the hypertext nodes to facilitate this
process.

To edit a hypertext link comment using the margin area


1. Switch the margin area on.
2. Open up the properties context menu in the margin area and
select OBJECT TYPES/HYPERLINKS.
3. Pop-up the context menu for a hyper link displayed in the
margin. The quotation inside the primary document pane is
highlighted at the same time.
4. Choose EDIT LINK COMMENT.

To edit a hypertext link comment using the Hyperlink


Manager
1. Open the Hyperlink Manager via NETWORKS/HYPER-LINK
MANAGER from the HU Editor’s main menu.
2. Select a hyperlink.
3. Edit the comment in text pane below the link list or

4. Open a dedicated text editor by clicking the Editor button


.

To edit a hypertext link comment using the Network


Editor
1. Open a Network Editor on a quotation establishing one end of
the hypertext link.
2. Move the mouse pointer onto the link between two quotations
and open the context menu with a right mouse button click.
3. Choose EDIT COMMENT.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 259


Collaboration

Collaboration or multi-authoring means that more than one


author may work on a Hermeneutic Unit at different times.
ATLAS.ti supports this teamwork by systematically keeping
track of each author's productions.

Objectives
Every object created, including the Hermeneutic Unit itself, is
automatically stamped with a date, time, and author. This
identification of the author is what makes the login process upon
system start necessary (which by default proceeds automatically).
Simultaneous collaboration is not supported, so only one person
can work on a specific Hermeneutic Unit at a time. By default, only
the author who created the Hermeneutic Unit (the owner or original
author), is authorized to load, read, and edit the Hermeneutic Unit.
Letting others participate in creating a Hermeneutic Unit requires a
few bureaucratic adjustments; one of which is the definition of
users (cf. “User Management” on page 262).
The simple concept of the ATLAS.ti user management allows all
data that will be shared by different users to be placed in publicly
accessible directories. But even with the Hermeneutic Units stored
in a public directory, access is restricted to the author. No one but
the author may load the HU into ATLAS.ti, unless it is defined as
public, or another user is defined as a co-author for this
Hermeneutic Unit. The author may make his/her Hermeneutic Unit
public so that all other users can use it or even make modifications
to it.
Alternatively, public access can be restricted to a specific group of
users, the co-authors. ATLAS.ti allows the author to define other
users who can access and modify a Hermeneutic Unit.

Access Rights
Access to a Hermeneutic Unit is restricted to the author unless
he/she makes it publicly available to other users or defines a group
of co-authors. To change the rights, choose option EXTRAS/CHANGE
ACCESS RIGHTS from the HU Editor’s main menu. Four options are
offered. Choose between
260 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0
PUBLIC - READ ONLY: THIS CHOICE LETS ALL OTHER USERS LOAD AND VIEW
THE HERMENEUTIC UNIT, IT MAY EVEN BE EDITED, E.G. FOR TRAINING
PURPOSES, BUT IT CANNOT BE SAVED TO DISK.

PUBLIC - READ & WRITE: permits other users to have the same rights
as the author, but not the ability to change the access rights.
PRIVATE: By choosing this option you can revoke previously
granted rights again.
“SET PASSWORD” lets you protect the Hermeneutic Unit against
loading unless a correct password is provided. Make sure you
remember the password or you will not be able to load your own
Hermeneutic Unit again!
As with all other access-related options you need to save the
Hermeneutic Unit before any changes are in effect.

Co-Authors
To restrict access to a group of co-authors (i.e., more than one
author), the sub-menu EXTRAS/CO-AUTHORS offers three options
for authors: add, remove, and view the list of co-authors currently
defined for this Hermeneutic Unit. This feature only makes sense if
public access to the HU has not been granted.

Register co-authors
Co-authors have the same rights as the original author, except for
the right to define or remove co-authors, unless having
administrative rights themselves.
To include co-authors, you are presented the list of all users known
to the system (which have previously been defined by the
administrator or the original author).

Remove co-authors
You are presented the list of current co-authors. Choose the ones to
be removed from the Hermeneutic Unit.

Display co-authors
Displays the list of co-authors currently assigned to the
Hermeneutic Unit.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 261


Filtering by co-authors
To display only those parts of a Hermeneutic Unit created by a
subset of the co-authors involved, choose the filter-option CO-
AUTHORS in any of the Object Managers.

User Management
If you do not intend to use ATLAS.ti in a workgroup environment,
the only procedure you might want to know is how to modify the
default account called "Super."
ATLAS.ti knows two classes of users: administrators, and all
others. Administrators have more rights than "normal" users. The
ATLAS.ti's user key rights of administrators are the ability to define new users, to
database is independent install service packs or use the more advanced data source
of the account database management features.
in a local area network
or your Windows login Note that users defined in ATLAS.ti are not necessarily the same as
name. Windows users. Furthermore, administrative rights assigned to an
ATLAS.ti user have nothing to do with Windows user rights

Recommendations for Instructional Use


If ATLAS.ti is to be used in a project or a classroom situation and
there is a need to have groups of users collaborate, it is
recommended that every user be registered in the users database.
This is done by the administrator defining an account for every
user. Accounts include the login-name, a password, the real name
and the access level.
Although user management increases bureaucracy, its purpose is to
support a cooperative working style. All Hermeneutic Units and the
objects they contain are marked with the currently logged-in
author's account name. The technical prerequisite for team work is
either a single PC running ATLAS.ti or, more appropriately, a local
area network (LAN) with ATLAS.ti installed on a server in LAN-
aware mode (only for multi-unit licenses).
All Hermeneutic Units and primary documents that the group
works with should be stored in a publicly accessible shared
directory on the network. These Hermeneutic Units would still
have optional access restrictions. Access to individual Hermeneutic
Units is always controlled by their authors.
The procedures outlined below are for use by the administrator
only. They include the definition and modification of user accounts
and passwords.

The User Database


All ATLAS.ti users are cataloged in a special "database"-file
HERMENCR.HDB, located in the ATLAS.ti system directory. This
file is loaded on program startup. Never modify this file from

262 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


outside ATLAS.ti, as this will corrupt it and lock you out of the
system!
After the initial installation of ATLAS.ti, there is already one
"dummy" user with administrator privileges set up: Account =
SUPER, password = USER. Because automatic login is the default
mode, it is quite likely that you usually work under this default
account. Because of its administrative privileges, this mode lets
you gain access to the following user-management functions.

The User Administration Window


A special tool for maintaining the user database is activated by
choosing EXTRAS/USER EDITOR from the main menu. To anyone
logged in without administrator privileges, this option will not even
be included in the menu. In this case, please choose EXTRAS/LOGIN
and enter SUPER and USER.
Before making any changes to the user database, it is a good idea to
make a backup copy of file HERMENCR.HDB located in the
program's directory.

Note: in addition to being an administrative user in the ATLAS.ti


context, you also need to have administrative rights as a Windows
user in order to write-access the user database which is located in
ATLAS.ti’s PROGRAM folder below the Program Files folder.
This folder is usually write protected for non-administrative users
on “secure” (well, in principle ..) operating systems like Windows
XP, Windows 2000 or better.

The user administration


tool allows you to
create, modify and
remove users.

Figure 113 - User Administration Editor

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 263


Maintaining the User Database
The options to add, delete and change users are located in the User
Administration Tool’s EDIT menu. You not only need
administrative rights to modify the data base. You also need to
assure that you are currently the only person accessing the user
data base. This is especially mandatory when working in LAN
settings.

Note: none of the menu options except NEW USER will be available
if you select yourself in the list of users. If you need to change or
even delete your own account, login under a different
administrative account, edit your normal account and login again.
Logging in can be accomplished without the need to restart
ATLAS.ti.

Add a New User


A user is characterized by five attributes, four of which you are
prompted for in sequence: Account name, password, rights, name,
first name.
Account name: When working with ATLAS.ti, the account
name has to be entered at login time. Every object created,
including the Hermeneutic Unit, is stamped with the account name.
Password: A password should be at least 4 characters (letters,
digits, symbols) long, but should not exceed 10 letters (higher risk
of typos). A password can be changed later by the administrator.

Note: A password is only required from the user during login,


when the option “Relaxed User Management” is set appropriately
(see “Relaxed User Management” on page 266).

Last and first name: Both names really have no important


function other then giving the user a correct welcome. However,
both a last and a first name must be provided when defining a user.

To add a new user:


1. From the User Administration tool’s EDIT menu choose New
User.
2. Enter Account, Password, Last Name and First Name into the
sequence of “prompters”.
3. After completion of the signup procedure, the new entry
appears in the list of users. The remaining “Access rights”
attribute is set to “Standard” by default..
4. In the “Access rights” radio button group select Administrator
to change this attribute if needed.

264 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Remove a User
To assure that there is at least one user with administrative
privileges in the database, any attempts to remove all
administrators is rejected. You cannot, for instance, remove the
user who is logged in.

To remove a user:
1. Select the user to be removed
2. Select the option "Remove user" from the menu.

Change Access Rights


Two general access levels can be defined: Administrator and
Standard. The Administrator has all privileges described in this
chapter. All "normal" users should be assigned the Standard-
privilege.

To change access rights


1. Select the user who’s access rights need to be changed
2. Select the option CHANGE ACCESS RIGHTS from the EDIT menu
or select the appropriate option in the “Access rights” group.

Change the Password


You are asked to enter the new password twice for confirmation.

Change Name
Useful in case of mistyping or other special circumstances (such as
getting married...).

To change a user's name


1. Select a user in the list window.
2. Edit the first and last name entry fields or select the
corresponding menu items from the EDIT menu.
3. Select another user to consolidate the changes or click OK,
which also closes the window.

Maintaining the User Database


Saving the user database
After new definitions and modifications, the user database must be
explicitly saved or all changes will be discarded. As ATLAS.ti
processes a file named HERMENCR.HDB in ATLAS.ti’s Program
folder upon start-up, this name and folder should be used, unless
you are about to create a copy of the database. .

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 265


Loading a user database
The standard user database is loaded upon start-up. You may load a
different database to make modifications to different set of users or
to reload the standard database that has just been modified by
another administrator.

Automatic Logon
If you are the only person working with ATLAS.ti, you probably
never have a reason to disable the automatic logon. It is active by
default after the installation of the program. You can set the option
Automatic Login after opening the login dialog box via
EXTRAS/LOGIN from the main menu.

Figure 114 - The Login Dialog Box

Relaxed User Management


This feature removes the password requirement, and accounts are
not checked against the user database.
If neither data security and protection nor teamwork is an important
issue to you, part of the bureaucratic burden is removed when you
enable the "relaxed user management."
This feature can only be changed by editing the central configure-
tion file for ALL users, ATLAS.INI. This file resides in the
Changes to PROGRAM directory of the ATLAS.ti directory structure and you
ATLAS.INI affect all need Windows administrator rights to be able to modify this file.
computers in a After making a backup copy of ATLAS.INI open it with a plain text
networked editor (such as Windows Notepad). Under the [lan] section, set the
environment. variable "relaxedUserManagement" to either "enabled" or
"disabled."

Note: Settings in ATLAS.INI affect all clients in a networked


environment. For any changes in ATLAS.INI to take affect,
ATLAS.ti has to be restarted.

266 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Project Management

This section provides assistance in setting up your ATLAS.ti


project in the most efficient manner and for maximum work
productivity. Furthermore, it gives advice on how to maintain your
projects effectively throughout their entire lifetime. Backing up and
migrating projects across systems and merging the combined work
efforts of distributed teams are also discussed in this chapter.

Objectives
Working with ATLAS.ti involves users, files, and computers. An
ATLAS.ti project can be as simple as a single person working with
a single Hermeneutic Unit (HU) and a few primary documents
(PDs) on a single stand-alone computer. It can be as complex as
large teams working on different computers in a network or even at
different geographic locations; working on several projects at once;
moving files between users, computers, and networks; merging
partial projects into compiled projects, and many other conceivable
constellations.
If you have a single project, work on a single computer, and have
With a single no plans to share your work with others, you do not need to
project and no need to concern yourself too much with elaborate project management
work in teams you can issues. Keeping in mind a few simple rules is sufficient to make
almost forget about your work with ATLAS.ti smooth and hassle-free. Please see
sophisticated project Scenario 1 for a simple project approach.
management issues.
Project management, however, becomes an issue if your projects
and your work environment are more complex than this most basic
scenario.
What’s in a project? In short, an ATLAS.ti project consists of an
HU and its associated document files.
ATLAS.ti project management involves an understanding of how
ATLAS.ti handles and accesses documents (see “How ATLAS.ti
Handles Documents” on page 91). It concerns itself with ways to
fine-tune data-source access for a maximum of robustness and
flexibility, but first and foremost, proper project management
involves decisions regarding where HUs and documents are to be
stored. Most, problems can be avoided by a little informed
planning about issues such as file locations and paths and the need
to copy, move, and distribute your HUs across disks, networks, and
computers.
A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 267
HU management is the least problematic if you can store all
project-related documents in the same folder along with the HU
itself or in a sub-folder. However, ATLAS.ti also easily facilitates
the distribution of files across the file system and across different
computers and networks. These procedures are also discussed in
this section.
Various project There are various types of ATLAS.ti users: there are those who
scenarios are have stronger or weaker computer skills, those who work alone or
presented. in teams, those who work only at one location or at two or more
locations, etc. Accordingly, we have created various project
scenarios to illustrate "best practices" in some of the most typical
situations.
Each scenario illustrates a specific use case and describes strategies
for setting up new projects. This includes issues such as selecting
the ideal location for data files and how to best move or backup
entire projects.
The scenarios are presented in order of increasing complexity. All
scenarios include specific characteristics and easy-to-follow
instructions for setting up the project. For most projects, however,
Scenario 1 will likely reflect the project management procedures
that will be used.
In order to better understand our recommendations for certain
project setups, it is useful to gain a solid understanding of how
ATLAS.ti handles documents. See “How ATLAS.ti Handles
Documents” on page 91 for details.

Project Planning and Setup


The scenarios below aim to provide concrete examples of how to
create and maintain consistent projects. In real-life situations, you
may find that it sometimes makes sense to combine scenarios to
achieve the best result.
Before starting a new project, give some thought to the location of
the documents and the HU. Choosing a proper location can make
your work significantly easier, especially when it comes to
teamwork. Maximum flexibility can be achieved by storing all
associated documents in a common folder hierarchy.
For simple projects, one would typically choose to store the HU
and the documents into the same folder.
If a common location for the documents is not possible, (e.g., your
documents are scattered across the file system or the local area
network), certain rules should be followed (see scenario 3).

268 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


Basics
Creating a New Hermeneutic Unit
It is recommended that you decide on a location for the HU and a
name for your project as a first step. This eases the subsequent
assignment of PDs.
Creating an HU in a specific folder can be accomplished in a
variety of ways:
a) Via Windows Explorer:
1. Open Windows Explorer in the desired folder.
2. Right-click in this folder and select NEW/HERMENEUTIC UNIT
from the Context Menu. This will store the HU in the proper
location.
3. Rename the HU to reflect the project’s title.
4. Start ATLAS.ti by double-clicking the new HU.
b) From within ATLAS.ti:
1. Start ATLAS.ti.
2. Choose FILE/NEW HERMENEUTIC UNIT from the main menu.
3. Save the new HU via FILE/SAVE AS… .

Option “Use Special Paths”


In most scenarios you will be reminded to have the “Use Special
Paths” option switched on. This is the default setting and does not
need to be modified. However, you should make sure that it is set
as recommended via EXTRAS/GENERAL PREFERENCES.

Document Folder Structure


Whenever feasible, data source documents should be stored in a
common location (i.e., folder).
Of course, instead of piling all documents into a single folder, you
may create appropriate subfolders. This allows for convenient
separation of a potentially large number of files into different
media types or sub topics. However, after a project has been set up
this way, subfolders should never be moved independently of the
base folder.

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The following variations are not essential at this stage, and you
may study them later. You may now jump directly to the scenarios
below.

Variation: Distributed Project (Team)


Splitting a project and merging the split projects later can be
accomplished in all of the scenarios presented. Such a Split &
Merge approach makes sense not only for teamwork, but is also
feasible for a “solitary” researcher working on individual aspects of
a problem.
Before splitting a project, a "base" version is usually created, which
already either contains or references all commonly used resources
(documents, codes, memos, comments, network views). For
details, see the scenarios below. From the base project version, a
number of copies can be created to distribute to team members in a
teamwork setting. You should make a backup of this basic version.
Certain project scenarios may have restrictions regarding the
location at which the project and all its associated documents are
fully functional. A safe place will always be the location at which
the base version was created. For details see the related scenarios.
Merging HUs later requires a certain discipline with respect to the
base version. For instance, PDs must not be rearranged, or they
won’t be matched in the process of merging.
For teamwork, using ATLAS.ti internal user management
(described in “User Management” on page 262) also supports an
effective merge of projects. See “Merging Hermeneutic Units” on
page 286 for details.

Variation: Mobile Project


Using this approach enables migrating projects (HUs and
referenced documents) between different environments (e.g.,
different stand-alone computers or different networks). Depending
on the scenario, certain adjustments must be made, usually only
once. This variation is a feasible approach for taking your work
home. It can also be used for backup purposes.
For migration, a package is bundled by ATLAS.ti (see “Copy
Bundle - Migrate and Backup Projects” on page 279). In the
destination environment, this package is reintegrated (installed,
unpacked) using TOOLS/COPY BUNDLE/INSTALL BUNDLE.
Moving a project back to the original computer reverses the roles
above accordingly.
Don’t pack all your Documents should be packed the first time the project is migrated.
documents each time With subsequent migrations, this is only necessary for those
unless they were documents edited since the first migration.
modified.
With teams, it is the team members' responsibility to determine
who is eligible to edit a particular document that now might--

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through the above-mentioned migration procedures--exist in two or
more places at the same time.

Project Setup for Teams


The following sequence allows project administrators to setup an
ATLAS.ti project that will enable your team members to work
within your project.
1. Create each user in the user editor (see steps in “Add a New
User” on page 264).
2. Be sure that the project administrator has administrative
rights. All other users should have standard rights. As a
reminder, administrative rights allow a user to add and delete
users from the user database.
3. Register each user as a project co-author. This action will
allow them to open and work with your project (see details in
“Co-Authors” on page 261).
4. Set the access rights for this HU. If this action is not taken
each user will only have read rights and will not be able to
save. From the HU Editors main menu CHOOSE
EXTRAS/CHANGE ACCESS RIGHTS/PUBLIC - READ ONLY or
PRIVATE if you want users to save their project work. (See
“Access Rights” on page 260 for details).

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Scenario 1: All in One

This is the simplest of all scenarios: All data files related to your
project and your HU will be stored in the same folder hierarchy.

Examples:
1. You work on your own on a single project (for example, a thesis,
dissertation, or research project) at one computer (desktop or
laptop).
2. A user works on different aspects of a problem using several
HUs.
3. Simple team: Several users are working on different aspects of a
problem in separate HUs. All HUs are located on a central server.

Project Setup

Note: If you have already stored the documents you can proceed with
Step 3.

1. Create a new folder for your project.


2. Copy all documents to be used by your project into this folder,
and use subfolders if you desire an added degree of structure.
3. Create the HU inside the folder hierarchy. Make sure that all
documents really are in the same folder as the HU or subfolders
thereof.
4. Make sure that the option “Use Special Paths” is checked.
5. Make sure that the TBPATH variable is not set to a folder within
this folder hierarchy (check GENERAL PREFERENCES/PATHS).
TBPATH is not used for this approach!
6. Assign documents from the selected folder (it is OK to use drag
& drop).
This results in a project located in ONE folder. All documents are
automatically assigned using the special <HUPATH> variable.

Benefits of this approach


• The folder can be completely moved to another location and all
documents remain accessible.

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• Migrating or backing up your project using the Copy Bundle
function is easy and allows the use of arbitrary folders on the
target computer.

Drawbacks
• Sharing documents is restricted to HUs that reside in the same
folder. HUs created under this paradigm will not work when
detached from their original folder, which leads us to the next
scenario.

Variation: Distributed Project


See “Variation: Distributed Project (Team)” on page 270 for an
introduction.
Once they have been created, HUs are fully functional only in their
original location! If team members are to be granted access to
distributed local copies, Scenario 2 should be used instead.

Variation: Mobile Project


See “Variation: Mobile Project” on page 270 for an introduction.
Installation of a bundle on the target computer is done without any
additional adjustments. All documents are unpacked in the folder
(hierarchy) selected as the target for the HU. Make sure that the same
path is always used for the same project on the target computer unless
you want to make a stand-alone working copy (but be aware of version
confusion!).

Scenario 2: Single Document Path, Different HU


Path
In this scenario, all of your project-related data files are stored in the
same folder hierarchy. However, HUs are stored in a folder AWAY
from the document folder hierarchy. This folder can also be located on
another computer in the same local area network. This way, HUs are
independent from the location of their documents and can more easily
be “moved.” This is a scenario typical for teamwork.

Examples:
1. A team working on a single topic. All team members work on
computers on the same LAN. Every team member works on his
or her separate portion of the project. The HU representing the
partial project is stored on the user’s computer. The documents
are stored in a central server location.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 273


2. Documents are stored on a central server with shared access.
Users work on several independent projects using data relevant
for their respective projects, but use shared documents as well.
3. Documents are stored in a location that does not allow the user
full write access, e.g., on a CD-ROM, or on a server with
restricted access permissions. Therefore, the user cannot create a
HU in the document folder.

Project Setup

Note: If you have already stored the documents, continue with Step 3.

1. Create a new folder for your project.


2. Copy all documents to be used by your project into this folder
and in subfolder if you desire an added degree of structure.
3. Create the HU outside the document folder hierarchy
4. Make sure that the “Use Special Paths” option is checked.
5. Set the textbank folder (TBPATH variable) so that the document
folder hierarchy is completely included.
6. Assign documents from this folder. Documents
c:\myprojects\project1\interview1.rtf and
c:\myprojects\project2\image1.bmp would use the TBPATH
variable when assigned if the latter was set to c:\myprojects\.
The resulting project has all documents assigned through the special
<TBPATH> (displayed by the PD Manager, column “Origin”).
If by looking at the PD Manager you find that documents were
assigned differently in the earlier steps, check the following:
If you find documents using the HUPATH special path, you have
stored the HU somewhere in the textbank folder.
Documents with an absolute path origin indicate that these documents
are outside the HU and the textbank path, or these documents were
assigned differently, although the physical location of the folder is
indeed the textbank folder. How could this happen? You can browse
the same location either starting from My Workplaces or from My
Network Places (especially when working on a network). The former
results in absolute paths including drive letters (e.g., h:\ Project
Documents\) and the latter results in UNC paths including the
computer name (\\server1\c\Project Documents\ with drive c: on the
server mapped to h: on the local computer).
Although your HU will be able to access such ambiguously referenced
files, flexibility of the project has been greatly reduced. In such a

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situation it is much better to start the project afresh and browse folders
consistently when assigning documents.

Benefits of this approach


• The HU is not tied to the location of its documents and may be
copied and moved anywhere without losing functionality – as long
as the texbank folder refers to the location of the documents.
• Migrating or backing up your project using the Copy Bundle
function is easy.

Drawbacks
• This scenario relies on the user-configured textbank folder. If the
user wishes to work on different projects with documents stored in
different folder hierarchies, the textbank folder must be set
appropriately, e.g., to the path that was valid when the HU was
created. For such constellations, Scenario 3 is the recommended
solution, even if portability restrictions arise.

Variation: Distributed Project


See “Variation: Distributed Project (Team)” on page 270 for an
introduction. HUs are--unlike to scenario 1--fully movable and can be
copied. However, all team members need to set their textbank path
variable to the same folder that was set during creation of the HU.

Variation: Mobile Project


See “Variation: Mobile Project” on page 270 for an introduction.
Installation of the bundle can be accomplished without any further
adjustments. However, it is mandatory that, for each project, the
textbank folder on the target system is set accordingly. Always use the
same TBPATH, which makes life easier.

Scenario 3: Multiple Document Paths


Not all documents can be accessed from a single folder hierarchy.
Some documents are located in distinct, separate folders that cannot be
incorporated under a common root.

Examples:
1. Legacy data archives that cannot easily be moved to more
appropriate locations because of size or access restrictions.
2. Documents that are located on a variety of media, such as CDs,
DVDs, hard disks, possibly on different computers.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 275


Project Setup

Note: If you have already stored the documents you can continue with
Step 2.

1. Store the documents in the desired folders.


2. Create the HU in an appropriate location. (See “Creating a
Hermeneutic Unit” on page 59.)
3. Make sure that the “Use Special Paths” option is unchecked.
4. Assign documents from their respective folders. Drag & Drop is
an efficient technique here.
This procedure results in a project where all documents are assigned
with their absolute paths.

Benefits of this approach


• The HU is not tied to the location of its documents and may be
copied and moved anywhere without losing functionality, as long
as references point to the correct locations of the documents.
• Archive-friendly: documents can stay where they are and do not
need to be placed in a common folder.

Drawbacks
• Copying or moving an HU to other environments is not as smooth.
For instance, if a server that hosts PDs is changed (e.g., new or
changed disk drives), these documents can no longer be reached.
When you migrate such a project using Copy Bundle, the situation
on the target computer can differ considerably from the computer
on which the project was created.

Variation: Distributed Project


See “Variation: Distributed Project (Team)” on page 270 for an
introduction. Unlike Scenario 1, HUs are, fully movable and can be
copied as long as the HUs refer to the same documents on every team
member's computer. If all work is on the same local area network, this
can be accomplished by assigning documents as network resources
(browse My Networks, resulting in fully qualified UNC paths), or by
using identically mapped drives on the client computers.

Variation: Mobile Project


See “Variation: Mobile Project” on page 270 for an introduction.
Installation of a bundle may require adjustments--usually only once. If
paths containing drives or network shares (e.g., \\server1\c\) were used
to assign documents, and these drives or network shares are not

276 • Index A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0


available on the target system, all such references need to be “bent”
(redirected) by respective entries in the PD path map (see “Path
Mapping” on page 100).
When the drives and the network are available on the target system,
the Install Bundle procedure will use them. If they do not exist, the
Install Bundle procedure will create all folders required to store the
documents.
So you may find a folder C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\... next to
C:\documents and settings\... after installing a bundle you received
from a German colleague. This may lead to a proliferation of parallel
folders when working in multi-national teams across borders. This
problem is specific to document references using absolute paths and
increases the overhead of managing documents and their current
versions. To avoid such problems, the previous scenarios using special
paths may prove to be better approaches.

Scenario 4: All Inclusive


If you plan to use only a few smaller textual documents, an approach
that does not use any references at all may be a solution. No files other
than the HU itself are involved in this scenario. The trick is to use
memos as PDs (see “Using Memos as PDs” on page 131). Unlike
document files, memos are HU internal objects and are stored along
with the HU.
This approach is also recommended for work with sensitive data
material. When saving the HU, the data material is highly compressed
and therefore unreadable outside ATLAS.ti ("pseudo-encryption"). In
addition, the HU can be password-protected. This should make
unauthorized access reasonably difficult.

Using memos as PDs


entirely eliminates the
dependencies from
external references.
However, such
embedded data sources
are exclusive to the HU
and cannot be shared.
Furthermore, the size
and number of PDs also
increases the size of and
access times for the HU.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 277


Project Setup
1. Create an HU.
2. Create a new memo (see ”Working with Memos” on page 126).
A text editor opens.
3. From the memo editor menu, select the option INSERT/INSERT
FILE. A file dialog window opens.
4. Select a file that you want to use as a PD and click OPEN. (Of
course, you can also write the memos on the fly instead of filling
their content from a file.)
5. Save the memo by clicking the Accept button, or select the menu
option MEMO/SAVE.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for every document to be assigned as PD.
7. Assign the memos as PDs either by selecting and dragging them
from the Memo Manager to the Document Manager, or by
selecting the menu option MISCELLANEOUS/USE AS PRIMARY
DOCUMENT.

Project Backup
Create a copy of the HU file.

Benefits
• The project is a single file as no external documents are used.
• It is easy to backup, copy, migrate, or delete the project using
Windows file functions.
• Since the PDs are actually memos, you can open two views of a
PD; one in the HU editor, and one in the memo editor (read-only).
• Data protection: If sensitive documents are part of the HU, they
are stored securely within the HU file. Since this file is highly
compressed, the documents become fairly unreadable outside
ATLAS.ti. Unauthorized access within ATLAS.ti can be
prevented by a password protecting the HU.

Drawbacks
• Increased loading and storage times and an increased demand for
computer memory, as the HU can get quite large.
• No data sharing at all.
• Only (rich) textual documents can be used.
• When merging HUs that contain memos as PDs, these PDs cannot
be unified.

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• For every PD, there is a corresponding entry in the memo list.

Project Maintenance

Copy Bundle - Migrate and Backup Projects


The Copy Bundle function serves a dual purpose: portability (to
migrate a project to another location), and data security (a
powerful backup & restore device).
You should ONLY use Copy Bundle to port your projects to
another computer. To preserve the consistency of a project in
"Copy Bundle" takes care regard to referenced files, refrain from copying projects manually
of the HU and all using Windows file procedures. ALWAYS use Copy Bundle
associated files. instead!
COPY BUNDLE is a powerful tool. By inspecting the HU, it finds and
collects all files that make up the project: the data files used as PDs,
and all associated auxiliary files. It checks the accessibility of the data
sources and provides feedback in problematic situations. From all the
project files it compiles a single compressed file. On a target
computer, “installing” a bundle distributes the HU, the data source
files, and all associated files to appropriate location(s).
Under TOOLS/COPY BUNDLE, you find two functions: one to create a
bundle and the other to unpack or “install” a bundle. The two
procedures are explained below.

Create Bundle
"Create Bundle" creates a single compressed archive containing the
project. In order to create a well-behaving bundle, e.g., one that can be
unpacked without effort on a target system, the project should have
been set up with flexible use of references in the first place. See
“Project Management” on page 267 for details.

The Copy Bundle tool


The bundle tool is separated into three list panes and one report pane
(see Figure 115 below).

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 279


Figure 115 – Copy Bundle: Pack & Go

Documents not included in the bundle: The user can specifically


exclude documents that should not be in the bundle, e.g., unchanged
(or even non-editable) large documents (e.g., video, audio files) that
have already been carried to the target system with a previous Copy
Bundle.
Bundled documents: This list displays documents that will be
included in the bundle.
Documents that cannot be bundled: This list displays documents
that are excluded by the system because of an irresolvable conflict. If
all PDs in the HU can be displayed in the HU Editor, there should be
no conflict when bundling the HU.
The following conflicts may occur:
• Source Missing Conflict. The document does not exist.
• Source Unusable Conflict. The document cannot be loaded.
Possible cause: It was manually copied from another location
without its associated LOG file using Windows copy method.
• PD Source Conflict. Mismatch between PD and its source. This
implies that the data source is not the one that is expected by the
PD. Possible causes: mapping changed, data source was replaced
by another file, LOG file was edited manually.
• Ambiguous Reference Conflict. A data source is used by more than
one PD but was assigned using different paths.
Report: In the report pane, the situation before bundling is summa-
rized. This includes a list of all excluded documents and the reason for
their exclusion.

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How to Create the Bundle File
1. Save the HU.
2. Select EXTRAS/COPY BUNDLE/CREATE BUNDLE from the main
menu. The Document Selection window opens. All documents
that can be bundled are listed in the top right pane.

3. To exclude documents, double-click on a document, or select all


documents you want to exclude and click on the EXCLUDE (<<<)
button.
4. Check the pane on the bottom left for problematic documents. If
some are listed, try to resolve the conflict (see “Create Bundle”
on page 279 for possible causes).

5. Check the report pane. If everything is as it should be, click the


CREATE BUNDLE button.
6. A standard file dialog window opens. Enter a name for the
bundle file or accept the suggested file name. The extension ACB
(ATLAS.ti Copy Bundle) is automatically appended. Click Save.
By default, the file is saved in the HU’s folder.

Install Bundle
To unpack the copy bundle file on a target computer, it needs to be
‘installed’. The Install Bundle dialog box looks as follows:

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Figure 116 – Copy Bundle: Install Bundle window

Unbundling Strategies
"Unbundling" is the term we have adopted for unpacking (or
extracting) the compressed archive containing the HU and its
associated files ("bundle") at its new location.
The installation of a bundle on the same or a different computer can be
done using two slightly different strategies: Migrate and Restore.

Migrate
The "Migrate" strategy assumes that the bundle is to be installed on
Choose the another computer or another disk in order to resume work at this
“Migrate” strategy different location. The target path for the HU can be freely chosen.
when moving projects When checking for conflicts, this strategy accepts that older
between two work versions of data source files are replaced by newer versions. If a
locations. document in the bundle is older than an existing one at the new
location, it will not be unbundled. This prevents a document from
replacing a newer version of it.

Restore
The "Restore" strategy is used to restore a bundle created as a
Use the “Restore” backup of a project, i.e., an HU and all the data source files
strategy when referenced by its PDs. This strategy restores the HU in exactly the
installing a bundle that same folder as at the original location. It does not reject an attempt

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was created as backup to replace a current file with an older version – which is indeed the
copy. very nature of “restore.”

Paths
Below the strategy selection section, the original path of the HU is
displayed. A color marker next to the path indicates possible conflicts
for this HU, if it were to be installed in the target environment. If there
is indeed a conflict, a different path or file name for the HU can be
entered by clicking on the BROWSE button. A check box lets you
exclude the HU itself (i.e., the HPR5 file) from the installation.
Below the HU path, the TBPATH textbank path of the target computer
is displayed. This pane is not visible in Restore mode.
If a data source is addressed relative to the TBPATH, it is copied to
the TBPATH named above.
Data sources addressed as HUPATH are copied to the target folder
chosen for the HU.

List of bundled documents


The list of bundled documents can be sorted with a click on the
column header: The following information is provided:
• name of the document
• target location of the document, including special paths (more on
“Special Paths” below).
• a field indicating if this document is used when unpacking the
bundle. It also contains a small color square indicating a possible
conflict (more on the “Conflict color code” below).
• size (the total of the file sizes of the document file and its optional
auxiliary files).
• last modification date
• document type

Special Paths
If a document’s target location is <TBPATH>, it will be copied to the
folder that is currently set as the textbank path on the target system.
If a document’s target location is <HUPATH>, the document is
unpacked at the location of the HU (HPR5 file).

Conflict color code

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Possible target conflicts are indicated by the colored square in the
‘Use’ column.

Color Code Description


The green light is on for every document
that can be installed without overwriting
an existing version
Yellow: A compatible file was detected;
replacing this file does not harm the
integrity of the HU. Other HUs accessing
this document will be synchronized when
needed.
If you unpack a document with this
magenta marker, other HUs with
references to it may no longer be able to
access it. Such documents will not be
extracted in Migrate mode. You can,
however, include these documents in
Restore mode.
Red: If a path does not exist on the target
computer, it is created during unbundling.
However, not every path can be created. If
a volume (disk) does not exist on the target
computer, or if there are certain Windows
access restrictions for the current user,
AND no appropriate PD mapping path is
defined on the target computer, this
conflict arises.
A document is marked light green, if an
otherwise irresolvable path could be
resolved via fallback redirection.

Example for “code red”: The original path of a file on the originating
computer was K:\myprojects\interview1.rtf. On the target system a
disk K: does not exist. Therefore, a path K:\myprojects cannot be
created.
Such a conflict can be resolved by mapping the non-existing path. This
can be done by clicking on the MAP PATH button included in the Install
Bundle window. When the PD Mapping tool opens, open the drop-
down list of the From: field. You are offered all paths in the bundle
that need mapping.

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If you do not want to define a mapped path, a second option is to
activate ‘Always Use Fallback Paths’ (see “Redirection: Fallback” on
page 102 for a definition). If activated, the following happens: all such
irresolvable files are unbundled in the HU’s folder, i.e., the folder
where the HU (HPR5 file) is stored.
It is best to organize projects in ways that use absolute path references
as rarely as possible. This reduces the need to use PD Mapping.

Report
The report pane in the lower right of the Install Bundle window
displays a dynamic report of the documents about to be unbundled.

How To Install a Bundle File


1. Select EXTRAS/COPY BUNDLE/INSTALL BUNDLE from the main
menu.
2. From the file dialog select a bundle file and click OPEN. The
Install Bundle window opens.
3. Select an unbundling strategy: Migrate or Restore (see
“Unbundling Strategies” on page 282).
4. If in Migrate mode, select the target location for the HU via the
“HU Path:” entry field. All documents using HUPATH are also
copied to this folder. It might be a good idea to select a new
empty folder as the target.
5. Check for conflicts and try to resolve them (“Conflict color
code” on page 283).
6. Exclude unwanted documents or the HU from the unbundling
procedure.
7. Click on the UNBUNDLE Button. When all files have been copied
to their respective locations, a message pops up informing you
that the unbundling process is finished.
Every file that is replaced during the installation of the bundle is
backed up. The name of the backup files is “backup of ...”.

Note: If you unbundle the bundle file twice, all backup files are
replaced.

A two-level backup strategy is in effect: The files are first backed


For all files up, then the back up files are also backed up. So you might
replaced during experience quite an increase of files. However, given that disk
installation of a space is not a big problem these days, we have decided to be more
bundle, a backup copy generous in regard to being able to revert to a previous state. If you
is created find that everything worked well, you can remove all “backup of”

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 285


files.

Extending Existing Projects


Extending projects by assigning more documents should never be a
problem as long as the project setup conditions regarding the use of
special paths, etc., are still met.

Optimizing Projects for ATLAS.ti 5.0


Optimizing projects mainly involves making references to
Optimizing Paths documents more flexible in order to ease project migration and
greatly supports Copy extensibility. Optimizing is especially helpful for projects
Bundle. containing absolute path references. It is quite likely that projects
created with ATLAS.ti 4 work with absolute paths. Unless reasons
explained in the project setup scenarios above demand otherwise, it
might be a good idea to apply the Optimize Paths procedure to
these projects. See “Optimize Paths” on page 98.

Surviving System Modifications


Projects making deliberate use of special paths should prevent
problems due to future changes in the computer or network
environment. Just as using flexible special paths eases the task of
migrating a project to another computer, they also prevent problems
with changes of the computer affecting the proper localization of
referenced documents.
A likely scenario of an environmental change might be moving
documents to another disk or another computer in the network because
of problems with the space available on the currently used drives or
the need to make files available to a larger community by placing them
on another server. If needed, the procedure to adapt the project to the
new situation may be found in the preceding chapters that deal with
project setup.

Merging Hermeneutic Units


The Merge Tool reunites HU's that were originally divided for
analytical or economical reasons. Its main purpose is the support of
teams. It links together the contributions of different members of a
research team. A common scenario is the analysis of different sets
of documents by different team members, sharing a common code
base. Of course, the single researcher can also benefit from this
function using the merge facility to help organize large projects.

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Examples of Application
Text Corpus Reuse
With only PDs to add and everything else IGNORED you can transfer
all documents from any HU into a freshly created, or already existing
HU. The PD comments and any existing quotations are also
transferred.

Theory Import
With only codes, networks, and code families selected, a "theory" can
also be migrated to another HU. This is similar to the current "Import
Networks" feature, but also migrates Network Views and code
families.

Team Work
Add codes, unify PDs: This would be the strategy when the same
set of PDs is utilized by different team members using different codes.
Unify codes, add PDs: Different PDs were distributed to team
members using the same set of codes, or mainly the same set of codes.
Codes that are different from the common set are not lost but added.
See “Stock merge strategies” on page 288.

Concepts
Target and Source HUs
The main concepts in Merge are the Target HU and the Source HU.
The Target HU is the HU into which another Source HU is merged.
The target HU has to be loaded into the HU Editor before invoking the
Merge HUs option. It is advisable to store the target HU under a
different name before starting the merge procedure.
To prevent accidental overwrite of an existing HU, you may create a
new HU first, and then merge the two HUs consecutively into this HU.
However, this approach takes two merge steps.

Merge Strategies
Three "strategies" can be chosen for the processing of every object
category. These are "Add," "Unify," and "Ignore." The object
categories that can be processed within the HU are PDs, Quotations,
Codes, Memos, PD Families, Code Families, Memo Families, and
Network Views.
Add: The objects of this category are added to the target HU. If an
identical object is found in the target, the added object will get a new
name consisting of the original name plus the suffix "_number". A

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new number is added until the name of the object is unique. For
instance, if a code "Alchemy" already exists in the target, the source
version of "Alchemy" is renamed to "Alchemy_1".
Unify: Searches for corresponding objects in the target HU. If such an
object is found, all attributes of the source object are "inherited" by the
target object. A corresponding quotation is one that resides in the
corresponding primary document AND that has the same coordinates
(start line/row - end line/row).
In this procedure, attention is paid to deviations between two PDs to
be merged that may result in a corrupt resultant PD with misaligned
quotations.
While most other objects are unified via their name, PDs are
treated differently. A PD from the source HU is unified with a PD
Two PDs are from the target HU if the following conditions hold:
considered equal for
unification when three • Both PDs have the same ID (e.g.,
conditions hold. P 1).
• Both PDs refer to the same data
source.
• Both PDs have the same
revision. If needed and both PDs’ data sources are accessible,
one or both PDs are synchronized.
• If none of the PDs can access its
data source, the test uses ID and revision equality only.
Ignore: Instances from ignored object categories are not transferred
during the merge process. For a finer grained exclusion you can use
the "ignore" families option.
"Ignorant" families: To exclude specific objects from the transfer
Use specially (like private memos or test codes, etc.), you would create a special
named families for family with the name "!MERGEIGNORE" into which you can
fine-grained control move items to be excluded. This can be done for all three family
over items to be types.
ignored.

Stock merge strategies


Four broad, predefined “stock” strategies for the different object types
can be selected in the merge dialog.
Same PDs and Codes: Choose this strategy when PDs and codes are
(mostly) the same in the target and source HU. PDs and codes are then
unified. If the source HU contains a few additional PDs or codes, these
will be added. When unifying PDs, please observe that PDs are unified
by their P numbers (P 1, P 2, P 3, etc.) and not by their names!

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Same PDs – Different Codes: Choose this strategy when target and
source HU contain the same PDs, but different set of codes have been
applied. If identical codes are found during the merge procedure, the
duplicate codes from the source HU are automatically renamed by
adding the suffix “_number”.
Different PDs - Same Codes: Choose this strategy when target and
source HU contain different PDs that have been coded with the same
code set. This is a common situation when working in teams and
different team members have coded different PDs using a common set
of codes. If a few additional codes have been added to the common
set, these will be added.
Different PDs and Codes: Choose this strategy when both PDs and
codes are different. The PDs and codes from the source HU will be
added to the ones in the target HU. If identical codes are found during
the merge procedure, the duplicate codes from the source HU are
automatically renamed by adding the suffix “_number”.

Conflict Resolution for Links


For certain entities, a default "conflict resolution strategy" is used. If
the inclusion of objects could result in the modification of a "link"
between objects in the target HU, the target HU link is preferred.
Example: If there is a link "is-associated-with" between two codes
"Alchemy" and "Gold" in the target HU, and a conflicting link "is-
contrary-to" exists between the corresponding source HU codes, then
the link in the target HU would "win". However, if no link exists
between two objects in the target HU, the link existing in the source
HU is transferred. This strategy is also pursued for hyperlinks and
other connections between objects.
The link between Code A
and Code B in the target Target HU Source HU Merged HU
HU survives the merge
process. Code A Code A Code A

ISA
+ ISA
= ISA

Code B Code B Code B

Figure 117 - Merging HUs: Link resolution

Migration of General Features


Co-authors are also The comment of the source HU is appended to the target, and the
merged. list of co-authors in the target is completed with those in the source
HU.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 289


Merge Report
A report can optionally be created. The report lists all added and
unified objects and their old and new names. Statistics about the
source and target HUs and the resulting merged HU are created. (See
“Creating and Interpreting Merge Reports” on page 293 for details.)

Special Considerations for Quotations


Quotations play a special role because they cannot be handled
independent of the PDs. When PDs are ignored, so are quotations.
When PDs are added, quotations are added. The interesting case is
when PDs are unified: you can then select either UNIFY or ADD.
ADD will then create additional quotations in the target PD, even if a
matching quotation already exists.

Merging Scaled Codes


When variable codes with their special naming convention (see
“Scaled vs. Dichotomous Codes” on page 297) are added during
the merge process, their values are invalidated in case of name
clash. The reason for this is that imported codes with an identical
name are automatically renamed using a number suffix.
Note that before applying the SPSS job generation feature on the
resulting HU, such codes would need to be manually renamed.

How to Merge Hermeneutic Units


When merging two HUs, the Merge Wizard guides you through the
procedure. In the first step, the source HU is selected. Next, a merge
strategy is chosen and possibly fine-tuned.

To merge HUs:
1. Load the target HU. It is advisable to save it under a different
name, so that you don’t corrupt the original file in case
something goes wrong.
2. From the HU Editor’s main
menu, select TOOLS/MERGE WITH HU. Alternatively you can
drag an HU onto the HU Editor’s caption holding down the
CTRL key. The Merge Wizard opens, guiding you through
the merge procedure (see Figure 118).

Select the source HU


The first page of the Merge Wizard displays the current target HU
(i.e., the one that was loaded first), requesting you to enter the source
HU’s file name.

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Figure 118 - The Merge Tool: Selecting the source HU

3. Select a source HU from the file dialog opened by clicking the


browse button.
4. Clicking the NEXT button will load the source HU and will
proceed to the next step.
If the merge procedure was initiated by drag & drop, the source HU is
already entered into the source entry field. You can immediately
proceed by clicking on the NEXT button. Next, you need to choose a
merge strategy.

Choose a merge strategy


The second step is the selection of how the source HU is to be merged
into the target HU.
Four broad, predefined strategies are available that can be customized
in a second step. Object classes can be selectively added, unified, or
ignored. The four stock strategies were explained above in detail (see
“Stock merge strategies” on page 288).

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The Merge Wizard
offers a variety of
options to set the
merge strategy for
every object type.

Figure 119 - The Merge Tool: Defining the merge strategy

5. Select one of the four stock strategies. A short description of the


strategy is displayed at the bottom left of the dialog box.
6. Fine-tune the strategy so it best suits your needs. For all major
object types, you can divert from the pre-defined stock strategies
and manually define how the various object types are to be
handled in the merge process.
7. Check the option "Create Merge Report" to generate an overview
of what has been done, and to see which objects have been
affected in what ways during the merge process.
8. If you repeatedly merge the same HUs, you might want to
uncheck option “Merge Comments” as this may unnecessarily
blow up the comment for any of the unified objects.
9. Click FINISH to start the merge process. This may take a while
depending on the size of both the target and source HUs and the
strategy chosen. The Unify strategy is generally more
consumptive in processing time than Adding.

After the Merge


After a successful merge operation, some "cleaning up" might become
necessary. For example, codes with different names but similar
meaning (i.e., synonyms) are now treated as distinct codes. They may
need to be merged (see “Merging Codes” on page 124). It could also
be the case that you end up with a number of quotations that overlap
but are coded by the same code(s). Such instances can be found with

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the help of the Coding Analyzer (see “Redundant Coding Analyzer”
on page 186).

Recommendation
To get acquainted to the effects of either adding or unifying
Test merge effects entities, you should experiment with the various strategies using
by experimenting with sample HUs. Observe what happens. Before modifying serious
sample HUs. projects, you should gain some understanding of how the merging
process works.

A few considerations
You can unify codes, but add Network Views. This results in a new
network containing the same nodes as those already contained in the
target HU's network.
Adding nodes and unifying networks could result in an existing
Network View being crowded with both the nodes from the target and
the source HUs.
Unifying Super Codes combines their queries using the OR operator.

Creating and Interpreting Merge Reports


If you have checked the option “Create Merge Report” in the Merge
Wizard (default), a report generator keeps track of every object
affected during the merge process.
The report displays:
• the name and location of the source and target HUs
• object statistics and merge strategies for source and target HUs
• added objects sorted by object type (prefixed with a "+")
• unified objects sorted by object type (prefixed with a "=")
• statistics for the resulting HU
Below, excerpts from a merge report are shown resulting from
merging “The Sample” HU with itself using the strategy “Different
PDs Same Codes”. During this merge, PDs, quotations and PD
Families are added; and all codes are unified.
The first part of the report provides an overview of the selected merge
strategies.

A5 User's Guide to ATLAS.ti 5.0 Appendix • 293


Added Objects

When objects are added that have identical names in both the source
and target HUs, the added object is renamed using an incremental
numbering scheme. Note that the PDs are not renamed. This is because
the prefix "P x" is a part of the name, making equally named PDs
distinct.

Adding 5 Primary Documents:


-------------------------------------------
-----
+ P 6: Revelation 8
+ P 7: Revelation 9
+ P 8: Indian Camp
+ P 9: The sefiroth tree
+ P10: Revelation

The imported PD families are renamed using the suffix "_1".

Adding 8 Primary Doc Families:


------------------------------------------------
+ Bible texts +> Bible texts_1
+ Content::grafic +> Content::grafic_1
+ Content::text +> Content::text_1
+ Grafical docs +> Grafical docs_1
+ Non-bible texts +> Non-bible texts_1
+ Textual docs +> Textual docs_1
+ *NOT Textual docs +> *NOT Textual docs_1
+ *NOT Bible texts & NOT Grafical docs.. +> *NOT Bible texts & NOT
Grafical docs.._1

Unified Objects
Unified codes are displayed along with their new quotation references
within the resulting